In the world of Western musicology music is regarded as possessing two main divisions. The first being performance features which consist of traits such as dynamics, and tempo, and a second known as structural features such as the arrangement of notes in time. The main differences between these divisions is that performance features are evolutionarily ancient, indiscrete and present in many sound expressions, whereas structural features are evolutionarily younger, discrete and music-specific. Performance features are tightly connected with motor activity and emotional processing. Despite the fact that performance features carry information about emotional states, they can also be used as tools of manipulation. It has been proposed that one biological function of these tools is to affect the minds of other animals in order to arouse the need for cooperation in them. It has also been suggested that music performance features are homologous with some prosodic features of speech which evolved as a communicative tool before language and music.
music performance features, adaptation, biological function, cooperation, evolution, emotions