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The application of memetic analysis to electroacoustic music

By Monty Adkins


Richard Dawkins’ concept of the meme was first formulated in his book The Selfish Gene (Oxford, 1976). In The Memetics of Music: A Neo-Darwinian View of Musical Structure and Culture (Ashgate, 2007), the first substantial text applying the concept of memetics to music, Steven Jan proposes a theory of music and an associated analytical method centred on the meme. For Jan, memes are a multitude of musical ‘units’ or ‘replicators’ that are transmitted by imitation both within, and across genres of music. Jan’s study focuses primarily on the application of memetics to the analysis of classical music. This paper will assess the contribution of memetic analysis to electro-acoustic music

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