17th June 2021 |

Today music fills our lives. How we have created, performed and listened to this music throughout history has defined what our species is and how we understand who we are. Yet music is an overlooked part of our origin story.

Michael Spitzer’s book The Musical Human takes us on an exhilarating journey across the ages – from Bach to BTS and back – to explore the vibrant relationship between music and the human species. He explores how and why we have evolved alongside music and how music has shaped us. With insights from a wealth of disciplines,  this world-leading musicologist renders a global history of music on the widest possible canvas, looking at music in our everyday lives; music in world history; and music in evolution, from insects to apes, humans to AI.

Michael is Professor of Music at Liverpool University. A music theorist and musicologist, he is an authority on Beethoven, with interests in aesthetics and critical theory, cognitive metaphor, and music and affect. He was President of the Society for Music Analysis for many years. As a popular music scholar, he specialises in indie (including Neutral Milk Hotel and Arcade Fire), and is currently working on Captain Beefheart.

Michael will be in conversation with Salon’s Juliet Russell on Thursday 17th June at 20.00.

Book on the Salon for £7 or get the book and the livestream (and a watch back function) for just £32: 'The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth'. Or become a member and let us curate a whole year of ideas - and watch whenever you like.

'Michael Spitzer has pulled off the impossible: a Guns, Germs and Steel for music' Daniel Levitin

'A thrilling exploration of what music has meant and means to humankind' Ian Bostridge