In the first lecture of the series, Jake Harwood will explore why music is a fundamental human activity. Rather than an indulgence, music began as a means of communication and an expression of kinship, home, and emotion. From soccer chants to Snowball the dancing cockatoo, Harwood will explain music’s influence on a wide range of behaviors, including its role in coordinating movement through dance, signaling relationships, and acting as both a bridge and a barrier between groups with differing identities.
Jake Harwood is a professor in the UA Department of Communication. His latest book, Communication and Music in Social Interaction, explores how music conveys hidden messages, its emotional and physical effects, and how it relates to many forms of communication, including new technology. Musician Yo Yo Ma is a perfect example—he quoted from Harwood’s work on his Facebook page last summer!