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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
While it has been believed for many years that the role of sound and human auditory resources are insignificant to human intelligence and how people communicate, Ruth Finnegan, a senior British anthropologist, proves this perception wrong in her profound book, Music and Creation: In Search of Human Culture, Voices of the World Book 1. Sonic dimensions are explored, spanning from the effectiveness of sound in the lives of animals to how humans use sound even in amplified forms. Finnegan delves into the exceptional value that different cultures and peoples of the world, such as the Brazilian Kalapalo and the Kaluli people of Papua New Guinea, ascribe to various sound forms. Music and Creation shows the crucial role that sound plays not only in today’s world, but also in the past.
There is much that can be gleaned from Ruth Finnegan’s Music and Creation. But the most important of all is the invaluable place of acoustic forms and processes. Finnegan explains how acoustic resources elevate otherwise bland statements and also discusses how sonic features are used to communicate various expressions. She also showcases the sophistication of rhythm and tone which is usually used to test and develop the cognitive abilities of the participants. Music and Creation presents the fascinating world of sound from so many angles, from the cultural conventions that govern sound to the enhancement of sound by humans through different instruments such as those pertaining to music, to the sophisticated ways sound is used by such animals as whales and bats. Certainly enlightening, Music and Creation explores the complex features, forms and uses of sound.