No Culture so Far Discovered Lacks Music

No culture so far discovered lacks music. Making music appears to be one of the fundamental activities of mankind; as characteristically human as drawing and painting. The survival of Paleolithic cave-paintings bears witness to the antiquity of this form of art; and some of these paintings depict people dancing. Flutes made of bone found in these caves suggest that they danced to some form of music. But, because music itself only survives when the invention of a system of notation has made a written record possible, or else when a living member of a culture recreates the sounds and rhythms which have been handed down to him by his forebears, we have no information about prehistoric music. We are therefore accustomed to regarding drawing and painting as integral parts of the life of early man, but less inclined to think of music in the same way. However, music, or musical sounds of some variety, are so interwoven with human life that they probably played a greater part in prehistory than can ever be determined.

Anthony Storr, Music and the Mind, 1992