Tag Archives: Colwyn Trevarthen

The Musical Brain

I’m continually indebted to Edinburgh University’s Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD), and in particular to Dr. Katie Overy, for flagging up many interesting events. In the relatively recent past I have attended a fascinating conference entitled Communicative Musicality and a lecture on Musical Entrainment.

Two more promising events have been brought to my attention in the last couple of days.

The first of these, entitled The Musical Brain, concerns the growing field which links music and neuroscience.*

The second, entitled The Child’s Curriculum: ‘What is the Value of Early Childhood Education and Care?’ concentrates on “ the value of early childhood education and care, with a particular focus on the implications for future practice and policy in Scotland.” This event is, which takes place in Edinburgh’s Royal College of Physicians, is free but registration is required – details here.

* you can find write-ups of music/neuroscience events I attended in The Wellcome Collection – here, here and here.

Interest in this area has led me to some interesting books which I can recommend:

This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin
The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body by Steven Mithen
Communicative Musicality edited by Stephen Malloch and Colwyn Trevarthen
The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Communicative Musicality

I received notification from a friend of an interesting sounding one-day event in Edinburgh University entitled Communicative Musicality. The description of the course was as follows:

This one-day meeting invites international specialists in the fields of music and music therapy, evolution, brain science, psychology, linguistics, education and clinical psychology to debate the intrinsic ‘musical’ nature of human life in relationships and community. Speakers will include authors in the book Communicative Musicality: Exploring the Basis of Human Companionship, edited by Stephen Malloch and Colwyn Trevarthen, published by OUP in October 2008. Copies of the book will be available for purchase during this event.

The theory of communicative musicality specifies that gestures of voice and body express the controlled energy of moving and thinking, which is intrinsically expressive and rhythmic. ‘Musical narratives’ of gestures constitute the essential foundation for all human communication, even the most arbitrary and technically elaborated, as for parenting, celebrations of community, teaching, the creative arts, and for therapy to help disabled or emotionally distressed persons.

Held with the collaboration of The Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD), The Perception, Movement and Action Research Centre (PMARC), and The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh

Suffice to say I’m looking forward to it and will report any interesting revelations here.