Ringvorlesung Musiktherapie Wintersemester 2019/20

Die Wiener Ringvorlesung Musiktherapie an der mdw – Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien beginnt am 4. Oktober 2019.

Das vorläufige Programm für das Wintersemester 2019/20 finden Sie  hier

Das Programmheft für das Wintersemester 2019/20 finden Sie in Kürze hier



Nächste Ringvorlesung:

Freitag, 11. Oktober 2019  11.00 - 12.30 Uhr AEG10
Rennweg 8, 1030 Wien

Prenatal development and the phylogeny and ontogeny of musical behavior

Richard Parncutt, Graz


Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil. Richard Parncutt

Richard Parncutt is Professor of Systematic Musicology at the University of Graz, Austria. He holds undergraduate degrees in music and science (physics) and an interdisciplinary PhD in physics, psychology, and music. His research addresses the perception and cognition of musical structure.



Uniquely human behaviors (language, religion, music, consciousness) emerged roughly 100,000 years ago. What was the cause? I will present and examine the radical hypothesis of a simple, singular “trigger”. In human evolution, bipedalism and encephalization shortened gestation, producing an “obstetric dilemma”. Helpless human infants could neither cling nor crawl. Complex communication with the mother or carer(s) became crucial for survival. Infant “cuteness” evokes the infant schema; the analogous mother schema (MS) represents the mother from the fetal/infant perspective. The extraordinary human ability to link complex sound patterns to complex meanings (language) emerged gradually from the unique human combination of complex MS, encephalization, and motherese. MS was also activated later in life by chant, rhythm, dance, quasi-fetal postures, and drugs, leading to the emergence and development of music and religion. The theory is consistent with cross-cultural commonalities in musical-religious ritual experience, altered states, reports of supernatural encounters, and the remarkable ability of music to heal (psychologically, socially, medically).