Writer in Residence Extra – Song and Dance Man by Paul Andruss

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

‘Music makes the people come together’ as the great songstress once said. And it certainly does. Whether listening to a festival or singing in a church choir or even at a football match, the effect is powerful; emotional; spiritual. But where does singing and dancing come from?
Songs punctuate our lives. There are songs we fell in love to; songs we broke up to. From the birth of children, to weddings and funerals; songs stir memories. Dance is powerful too, invoking the same ecstatic trance state in hundreds even thousands of strangers – and that’s without drugs.

But where did it all start? If we have Java Man, Rhodesian Man, Boxgrove Man and Neanderthal Man, are we Song and Dance Man?

The roots of music may lie with chimpanzees. When threatened a troop starts howling and rhythmically banging the ground or hollow logs. Before long the noises synchronise, becoming one…

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