Which came first to Homo Sapiens, music or dance?
In the beginning Gawd said, Let there be Disco: and there was Disco. On the second day Gawd begot KC & The Sunshine Band and saw they were good. Gawd then did a few other inconsequential things, but on the seventh day, Gawd shook his booty.
~ The Gospel according To St. Amy
Without looking into the anthropology of it, which I just don’t know and am too lazy to look up at the moment, my guess would be dance, depending on how you define music. Dance can just use rhythm without using notes. Instrumentally, percussion being the first instruments just makes sense, but melody can come from voice or whistling, so I don’t know. There are probably aboriginal studies that address this.
Looking into the question a little deeper, it’s possible either originated before Homo sapiens. One of the earlier hominids could have come up with either.
I'd say dance, for if by dance we mean, at least in part, Purposeful, Expressive Rhythmic Movement, story-telling, sharing tribal stories and history, could have long existed absent a musical accompaniment.
Dance and Music are forms of communication....As a matter of fact entertainment is communication....Or to put it succinctly the other way, communication is entertainment...
But, I digress. Inasmuch as dance and music are both forms of communication and body language preceeded all other human endeavors re the transmission and transference of information, dance would be the logical and likely the correct answer.
It could be argued that dance is the inspirational or creative spark behind music beginning with the rhythms produced by the percussion of tree limbs and hollow logs....
The telling of histories or events through the language of the body in motion could easily have begun to take shape as the patterns of recurring themes repeated themselves....
The anthropological aspects of this question/issue are fascinating and may one day provide some of the keys we seek in the search for human commonality and social and political common ground....
I'm convinced that it's in there somewhere if we can dig deep enough to get to the roots of who and what we are are a species of animal with the special gift of intelligence and reason...
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