Biomusicology: Neurophysiological, Neuropsychological, and Evolutionary Perspectives on the Origins and Purposes of Music

By Nils L. Wallin | Go to book overview

APPENDIX II
The Epistemological Impact of Musical Notation

Pre-classical Greek society (as illustrated in the Homeric narratives from the ninth century B.C. or in the famous legends, such as that of Oedipus) was a tribal, overly limbic world; it was quite different from the subsequent Greek states of the renowned philosophers who were to strongly influence later European development.

Our task is not to discuss what might have caused radical attitudinal changes between the pre-Homeric world and classical Greece. Many speculations have been offered by historians, archaeologists, and paleontologists-psychologists-neuroscientists, but I wish only to refer to Julian Jaynes.1 He argues that during the period of the great city-state cultures of the Old World there was a continuous process of change regarding the nature of consciousness--from a communal or collective consciousness to self-consciousness as we now know it. Such a change would postulate a new and integrated hemispheric cooperation in the overall working of the brain.

It is more than probable that the very diversified organization of, for instance, Sumerian society, was conditioned by a series of

____________________
1
J. Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Man ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1976)

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