Chris Kachian: The Human Meaning of Music (Audio)

Chris Kachian

Much has changed throughout human history, but one constant is our affinity for music. Why is it that something with no definitive evolutionary value has managed to remain such an important focus of human life? And what does it mean that – in our Western society – we are treating music differently than it ever has been before, with distinctions between those who create and those who receive?

St. Thomas music professor Chris Kachian joined the Newsroom to talk about these topics and others, including Daniel Levitin's 2006 book, This is Your Brain on Music, in a taped interview, which has been edited for clarity and length.

The importance of music to humans throughout history


Modern Western society's relationship to music vs. traditional societies' relationship to music


Music as a communal experience


Ubiquity diluting the power of music