Negotiating Biological and Cultural Features of Music: Towards the Field of Biomusicology

Ugur Aslan
Center for Advanced Studies in Music, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey. Email:

Volume 9, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n1.02

Received February 5, 2017; Revised April 11, 2017; Accepted April 15, 2017; Published May 7, 2017.


The aim of this article is to observe the domain of Biomusicology, sub-branches, its methods, theories and approaches. Thus, this article also tries to understand two different sides of Biomusicology, which are biological and cultural components of music, in general the difference between Humanities/Social Sciences and Natural Sciences. Biomusicology, as an interdisciplinary field, is derived from many different disciplines such as Biology, Ethnomusicology, Musicology, Cognitive Science, and Psychology. By the different approaches, the field of Biomusicology investigates the origins of music, musical universals and neurological human music-making process in all biological and cultural dimensions. In this way, Biomusicology attempts to negotiate biological and cultural approaches of music and find a solution for cultural/biological dichotomy in music studies (Cross 2001: 514). By doing this, Biomusicology also tries to fill the gap between Humanities/Social Sciences and Natural Sciences as an interdisciplinary field, which coins new paradigm for a future research.

Keywords: Biomusicology, Biology, Ethnomusicology, Evolutionary Musicology, Neuromusicology, Comparative Musicology

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