Today, music is ubiquitous, highly valued in all known cultures, playing many roles in human daily life. The ethnographic study of the music of extant human foragers makes this quite apparent. Moreover, music is ancient. Sophisticated bird-bone and ivory flutes dated from 40 kya reveal an even earlier musical-technological tradition. So is music likely to be an entrenched feature of human social life during the long passage to behavioral modernityâ€”say, by 150 kyaâ€”or earlier? In this article I sketch an evolutionary model that focuses on hominin vocal musicality and communication in the Pleistocene, tracking between series of phenotypes and changes in ecological, social, cognitive, and informational contexts. The model links musicality and protomusic to a bigger picture of hominin socio-cognitive evolution, making some connections clearer, motivating further theorizing and the search for new evidence.