Why Sing?  The Evolution of Singing

We are delighted to announce Why Sing? — three conferences in 2017/18 which explore the evolution, and the physical, psychological and social benefits of singing from the Stone Age to the present day. Starting with The Evolution of Singing this spring, we will progress to The Power of Singing: Religion, Revolution and Tribalism in autumn 2017 and to Singing Together: Wellbeing and Learning, a two-day conference in spring 2018.

The Evolution of Singing will take place on Friday 28 April 2017 in the beautiful Church of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell, 10:30 - c. 19:30

Speakers include:

  • Dr Evangelos Himonides, Reader in Technology, Education, and Music at UCL Institute of Education, on the vocal instrument, its function, properties, needs and uniqueness as we understand it today.
  • Prof Steven Mithen, author of The Singing Neanderthals, on how modern humans benefit from their musical Stone Age past.
  • Dr Katie Overy, Music Psychologist and Cognitive Neuroscientist at the University of Edinburgh, on the neural basis of singing and the power of shared musical experiences.
  • Prof Michael Trimble, Behavioural Neurologist at UCL Institute of Neurology, on the differences between the human brain and the brains of our nearest living ancestors to try to understand the changes which may have been important for the development of singing.
  • Dr Edward Wickham, Fellow and Director of Music, St Catharine's College, Cambridge; specialist in Medieval and Renaissance music.

Musicians: The Clerks, the innovative early music vocal ensemble led by Edward Wickham, will perform, illustrate lectures and join in discussions.

We are grateful to the Order of St John for their collaboration and support.

This event will have live subtitles delivered by Stagetext.

We hope you will be able to join us. 


Full price: £95
Student (full-time only): £35
Choir member: £50*

*To confirm you are a member of a choir and eligible to buy a reduced price ticket, you need a booking code, issued to your choir upon request. To register your choir and/or book a choir ticket, email us or call 0208 404 1327. You cannot book a choir ticket online.

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The Musical Brain ®
Registered Charity Number: 1159843