A new study has found that musical aptitude is associated with gene variants which help control social bonding.
The study further substantiates the notion that music developed to cement human relationships.
To reach the conclusion, Irma of the University of Helsinki, Finland, and teammates recruited people from 19 families with at least one professional musician in each.
Then they tested their aptitudes for distinguishing rhythm, pitch and musical pattern, reports New Scientist.
These abilities ran in families, consistent with their being under genetic control, the study found.
After scanning the volunteers' genes, researchers found that two variants of the gene AVPR1A correlated strongly with musical ability.
AVPR1A has been linked with bonding, love and altruism in people.
According to Irma, musical abilities evolved because musical people were better at forming attachments to others: "Think of lullabies, which increase social bonding and possibly the survival of the baby."
The study has been published in PLoS One.