Chapter

Carl Stumpf: Impulses towards a cognitive theory of musical evolution

Helga de la Motte-Haber

in The Origins of Music

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695737
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742286 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695737.003.0001
Carl Stumpf: Impulses towards a cognitive theory of musical evolution

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The translation of a text from 1911 in the year 2011 is indicative of the historical significance that befits the author who, for his part, made his mark with seminal writings on music psychology, even if he is not really the founder of the discipline of psychology. Can we still regard Stumpf's consideration of The Origins of Music as timely, or is this merely an interesting historical document? A review of differing theoretical concepts answers these questions and clarifies the significance of Stumpf's text within the framework of an intensive, fifteen-year discussion on the evolutionary origins of music. This chapter discusses the self-contradictory concepts of the evolution of music; a brief summary of significant aspects of the 1911 text; and the psychology of tone instead of psychophysics.

Keywords: translation; psychology of tone; the origins of music; evolution of music

Chapter.  4610 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis ; Developmental Psychology

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