Michael Spitzer

Michael Spitzer is Professor of Music at the University of Liverpool and the author of The Musical Human (Bloomsbury)

Top notes: why does music make you cleverer?

Music is far older than language. The FOXP2 gene associated with speech has been recovered from Neanderthal fossils, yet rhythm and melody have been around for millions of years before that, as attested by the fossils of chirping crickets and singing birds. Sapiens evolved on the ape line, and our songs evolved from the vocalisations

Where does music come from?

When did music start? It’s an idle question, and in 1866 the Société de linguistique de Paris got so fed up with empty speculations about the origin of language and music that they banned the subject. There are a series of exhibits, though, which can help us answer the question. The first is the ‘Seikolos