Lecture will explore what makes humans musical

How did humans come to be musical creatures?  What are the relations in deep history between musical capacities and other characteristic capacities of modern Homo sapiens? 

Gary Tomlinson

These are among the questions that will be addressed by Yale musicologist Gary Tomlinson in the next In the Company of Scholars lecture on Wednesday, April 16.

Tomlinson’s presentation, “One Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity,” will take place at 4 p.m. in Rm. 119 of the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York St. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the McDougal Center common room.

A musicologist and cultural theorist, Tomlinson is the John Hay Whitney Professor of Music and the Humanities and director of the Whitney Humanities Center. His teaching, lecturing, and scholarship have ranged across a diverse set of interests, including the history of opera, early-modern European musical thought and practice, the musical cultures of indigenous American societies, jazz and popular music, and the philosophy of history and critical theory. His latest project concerns the evolutionary emergence of human musical capacities; his Wort Lectures at the University of Cambridge in 2009, which outlined this project, were titled “1,000,000 Years of Music.”

Tomlinson’s books include “Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance,” “Music in Renaissance Magic,” “Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera,” “The Singing of the New World: Indigenous Voice in the Era of European Contac,” and “Music and Historical Critique. “ He is the co-author, with Joseph Kerman, of the music appreciation textbook “Listen,” now in its sixth edition.

Tomlinson has garnered prizes from the American Musicological Society, ASCAP, the Modern Language Association, and the British Academy. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Foundation award.

In the Company of Scholars is sponsored by Thomas D. Pollard, dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

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