More Than A Feeling: An Analysis Of Contrasting Approaches To The Study Of Musical Emotions
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The investigation of music and its ability to move us has captivated thinkers for millennia. In modern scholarship, the fields of ethnomusicology and evolutionary musicology represent two distinct attempts to unravel this mystery. The methods and assumptions guiding these disciplines often set them in opposition, exemplified by the contention surrounding the idea of musical universals. In this thesis, I investigate the history of each discipline and examine a sampling of contemporary scholarship in order to gain insight into the sources of this conflict. For ethnomusicology, I examine two recent ethnographies, and for evolutionary musicology I present a number of hypotheses across a variety of fields of scientific research. In conclusion, I outline some of the sources of their conflict and offer an understanding of the human capacity to communicate emotion through music that seeks to take the central principles of both disciplines into account.