This is a book I've been waiting to read. I devoured it. Easy enough to follow for the layperson, and full of useful findings for the specialist. It is beautifully written by one of the true world experts in our field. A triumph, and a book that deserves to be read and cited for many years to come.

―Daniel J. Levitin author of This Is Your Brain on Music.

We take our love of tunes and sense of rhythm for granted, but Henkjan Honing is here to tell us that it is biology, not culture, that has given humanity its astounding musical talents. In a lively first-person account of recent discoveries in neuroscience and animal behavior, he illuminates the ancient roots of musicality.

―Frans de Waal, author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Think you can dance better than a monkey? This scientific adventure story tells us why some animals can follow a beat, while most can't. Read this book, then get up out of your chair and show off your moves.

―David Rothenberg, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Music, New Jersey Institute of Technology; author of Survival of the Beautiful and Nightingales in Berlin.

How far beyond our species do musical capacities extend? In this genial and accessible research diary, music cognition specialist Honing narrates his forays into behavioral biology to answer this question. By exploring the rich perceptions and responses of monkeys, finches, sea lions, and more, he fashions an appreciation for the singularity that is human music.

―Gary Tomlinson, Whitney Professor of Music and Humanities, Yale University; author of A Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity.

A music researcher's quest to discover other musical species

Even those of us who can't play a musical instrument or lack a sense of rhythm can perceive and enjoy music. Research shows that all humans possess the trait of musicality. We are a musical species—but are we the only musical species? Is our musical predisposition unique, like our linguistic ability? In The Evolving Animal Orchestra, Henkjan Honing embarks upon a quest to discover if humans share the trait of musicality with other animals.