Colloquium – Why We Animals Sing

Lecturer: Brian D. Farrell (Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard Univ.)

Date: September 27, 2023 (Wednesday)

Schedule: 2pm

Location: IFT-UNESP auditorium (Barra Funda, São Paulo)

Abstract: Music has long filled a uniquely important role in bridging human culture and biology, stretching back over millennia, and of course today provides respite and remedy in an increasingly stressful world. We do not sing alone. On land, four kinds of animals produce songs or calls: birds, frogs, mammals, and insects. Some of these animals (and fish) also do so underwater. The principal sounds such animal species make are signaling behaviors directly related to mating success and social cohesion and their ranges are molded by their forms and by their particular forest, savannah or seaside habitat.

Human music also has origins, motivations and mechanisms in common with other animals. Traces of a long and ongoing history comes from archaeology, anthropology and brain studies. Evidence of a measurable impact on human biology comes from neurobiology, social psychology, and public health.

Brian D. Farrell is the Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in Harvard University, and is the Curator in Entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. He served as Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies from 2014-2020. There is no need to register to attend the colloquium in the IFT-UNESP auditorium, which will also be transmitted live by YouTube.

Live streaming: