Musical evolution and the making of hierarchy

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In the period between the two World Wars, evolutionism played a substantial role in a series of anti-Semitic trends that permeated the formation and reception of American modern music. The ordering principle of evolutionism, when applied to the association of racial difference with musical style, resulted in the creation of a social hierarchy of high and low art music that reinforced already extant racial hierarchies. Tracing the lineage of this tradition of musical evolutionism to the present day suggests the continued entanglement of music scholars, like myself, in evolutionary questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalWorld of Music
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Music


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