Critically evaluate Pinker's claim that music is auditory cheesecake

1748 WordsApr 17, 20157 Pages
Critically evaluate Pinker 's claim that music is auditory cheesecake: Pinker’s metaphorical expression for music was “auditory cheesecake”, explaining that he considered this function “useless[as a biological adaptation]” (Pinker 1997, p.528). Perhaps avid listeners comfort feed their minds with acoustic cheesecake, but musical knowledge presents the impact of such sweetness goes far beyond just licking the spoon. Extracting Pinker’s perspective, this essay will discuss whether music is valuable in the survival of humans. Arguments will be derived from brain imaging findings to examine its biological predisposition, adaptionist view to seek out its evolutionary status and whether the environment is responsible for demoting music.…show more content…
This is because Music is a high cortical function, thus maintenance is costly. Transmitting this energy required for immediate survival needs should have reduced the function of music in future generations of such populations. As a result, it would be expected that music is culture specific, yet on the contrary, it is enjoyed universally. Therefore music attains the status of necessity. Zahavi’s (1975, in Miller 2000)Handicap theory conceptualizes the purpose of music. The theory stresses that sexual traits usually posses a risk to survival.; suggesting music is a biological adaption for the purpose of Sexual selection(Darwin, 1871, in Patel 2010). Miller (2000) interprets Music as an aesthetic display and indicator for fitness. Musical activities such as “dancing” represents health, “voice control...self confidence for status”, “Rhythmic” engagement shows ability to identify patterns and “melodic creativity” which assists initiation for social communication(Miller 2000, p.10). This handicapping, sexual trait may be useful for reproductive success but attempting to gain excessive aesthetic display can lead to dire consequences. Jimi Hendrix, famous guitarist, died at 27 years from drug overdose which he used to “spark his musical imagination” (Miller, 2000, p.2). Hendrix’s fatal actions can be explained by the neural overlap between effects of drug and music, making music a possible threat to survival(Blood and

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