Jan, Steven (2010) Memesatz contra Ursatz: Memetic perspectives on the aetiology and evolution of musical structure. Musicae Scientiae: the journal of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, 14 (1). pp. 3-50. ISSN 1029-8649

This article discusses the aetiology and evolution of musical structure, specifically the sonata-form exposition, from a memetic perspective. It regards established musical forms as replicated schemata arising from the conglomeration of foreground-level memes, the resultant archetypes (structural memes or Memesätze) being replicated (reinstantiated) by different collections of functionally analogous (allelic) memes. After a discussion of the theoretical background including the top-down/bottom-up generative dichotomy as it applies to form, and some attributes of memes affecting conglomeration three sonata expositions, by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, are discussed as specific evidence in support of the general hypotheses advanced.

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