Call for papers: EvoMus Workshop in Vienna, Austria


Call deadline: October 23, 2013 (23:59 CET)

We welcome contributions (15-20 minutes including questions) describing original research on the evolutionary origins of music (see workshop description below for details). Experimental and empirical contributions are particularly encouraged. Short abstracts (.doc files following the standard Evolang format) of max. 1 page (including references) should be sent to with “Evolang Workshop Submission” as subject. Confirmation of submission will be given.

Submission deadline: October, 23rd 2013 (23:59 CET)
Notification of acceptance: November, 17th 2013

The purpose of this workshop is to (i) provide a common platform for researchers from a range of fields (syntax, phonology, typology, biomusicology, ethnomusicology, neuroscience, etc) to compare results and methodologies, (ii) discuss and integrate findings from different disciplines within the evolutionary and cognitive frameworks, (iii) develop critical hypotheses whose empirical testing can shed light on issues at the frontier between the evolution of language and music.
EvoMus: The evolution of music and language in a comparative perspective
This workshop will hence compare recent findings on language and music along three lines of inquiry: evolutionary, cognitive and methodological.

  1. The evolutionary approach: What is the relationship between the origins of language and music? Can findings in one discipline inform the other? Which experiments are crucial to reject or accept hypotheses of common origins? Are the common origin (a musilanguage split into language and music) and branching (music originated by scission from language or vice-versa) hypotheses tenable at all?
  2. The cognitive approach: To what extent do language and music processing overlap in the brain and mind? How can experimental studies inform us about shared neural resources? In particular, do structural similarities in language and music map to shared processing mechanisms?
  3. The methodological approach: Current research on language evolution makes, among others, broad use of agent-based modeling, iterated learning experiments and comparative research in non-human animals. How are similar techniques used to investigate the evolution of music? What kind of models and computer simulations could be “imported” from language to music research (and vice versa) successfully and meaningfully?

For further description, see the workshop description!

Andrea Ravignani
Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna
Althanstrasse 14. 1090 Vienna, Austria