The Origins of Music

Director Daniel B. Arvizu, Andrea Spalletti
Spain / 83 min. / 2016 / English

An educational film about the musicality of our specious. The music-oxytocin relationships. The memory-music relationship. Music as a proto-language. Darwin, fossils, hypotheses, patterns. Biologists and paleoanthropologists ask: “What makes us musical? 


The scope of The Origins Of Music is signed and sealed in the first, bursting seconds of this documentary: aboriginals with arcane instruments; contemporary dance; a Michael Jackson impersonator; Germanic regional choirs?; a zumba session. They’re all humans; this is music (and dance); and here’s the spectrum. This is an intensely educational film about the mystery of the musicality of our species. Why us, specifically? Why are we capable of perceiving alterations in tone? Why do we have a sense of rhythm? Is there a relationship between music and oxytocin (the hormone that regulates and transmits pleasurable feelings? Is there a relationship between memory and music? (Alzheimer’s patients that do not recognize family members can remember entire songs). There’s a theory that talks about music as a proto-language: the brain is inherently interested in music - it detects musical irregularities and patterns and incorporates them into it; just as it does with speech. Darwin, fossils, hypotheses, patterns. Biologists, paleoanthropologists and experts in cognitive biology ask: What makes us musical? Why is music a human thing?

The Origins of Music - Tecumseh Fitch

A documentary on Biomusicology directed by Andrea Spalletti & Daniel B. Arvizu Cognitive Biologist Dr. W. Tecumseh Fitch, one of the most prominent and respected researchers in his field, gives us a through analysis on what the musicality of our species really is; as well as guiding us through the theories that have been proposed on the evolutionary origins of our musical behaviours.

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Showing format

Dr. W. Tecumseh Fitch Dr. Iain Morley Dr. Stefan Koelsch Dr. Dario Martinelli

Shenny A. Madrigal

Music Composer
Alberto N.A. Turra, Andrea Spalletti

Music supervisor
Alberto N.A. Turra

Shenny A. Madrigal, Daniel B. Arvizu

Film company
Daniel B. Arvizu

Film distributor

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