The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #158878 Message #3890343
Posted By: GUEST,of 24 Nov 17 - 03:41
25-Nov-17 - 10:55 AM
Thread Name: folk process: tune evolution?
Subject: RE: folk process: tune evolution?
Academics may want to avoid the words "evolution" and "evolve" because they could be misunderstood as meant to suggest "survival of the fittest" or "continual improvement or increased complexity," but those connotations are not essential to the meaning of these familiar words.
Some academics might want to clarify their understanding of terms. Pamela R made clear what she, a biologist, meant. In the first post and then later. Rejecting a line of inquiry because some people don't understand, or other people in the past, may have mis-applied it, is akin throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
There is also the possibility, though I think it's unlikely, that the 1950's ethnomusicologists attempts fell down because what then for almost a century had been a big "non-no" in biological evolution - the inheritance of acquired characteristics - clearly does happen in folk songs and tunes. However, within some constraints, it is back on the menu of concepts and might, I suppose, have something to offer in the way folk song changes in time are thought of.
It is, after all, only an analogy that might be an aid to critical thinking.