Steven Jan

Published On


Page Range

pp. 1–62

1 Introduction

Music and Darwinism

  • Steven Jan (author)
Chapter 1: begins with a rationale for the book, arguing for the power of evolutionary thought to illuminate the origins and practices of music. It surveys evolutionary theory, explaining how the Darwinian ‘Variation-Replication-Selection’ algorithm operates in a substrate-neutral way, covering a number of key cross-substrate commonalities that allow Darwinism in biology to be related to Darwinism in other realms, including (musical) culture. This integration of biological and cultural Darwinism allows for the exploration in later chapters of the evolution of musicality (the human urge and capacity for making music) and the evolution of music (the internal, systemic evolution of musical style and structure in human cultures).


Steven Jan