Proceedings of the 5th Arts & Humanities Conference, Copenhagen

EVOLUTIONISM IN MUSIC HISTORY: TOWARD RECONCILIATION

FRANCISCO CASTILLO

Abstract:

The first part of this paper identifies some of the reasons why evolutionism has been avoided in historical musicology in the Latin American context, including political ideologies, postcolonial studies, and philosophical positions. Moreover, nature has been used many times as an argument to validate music theory and musical hierarchies, causing the links between biology and musicology to be full of faults made by past thinkers. The second part presents some arguments derived from analysis, critically reviewing the objections to musical evolutionism and showing how these have misunderstood the basic principle of natural selection. The paper also discusses the possible claim of evolutionary biology as a useful tool in order to understand music history, while contributing to current discussions in music historiography.

Keywords: Music History, Evolutionism, Historical musicology

DOI: 10.20472/AHC.2019.005.002

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