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Cultural macroevolution of musical instruments in South America


Aguirre-Fernández, Gabriel; Barbieri, Chiara; Graff, Anna; Pérez de Arce, José; Moreno, Hyram; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R (2021). Cultural macroevolution of musical instruments in South America. Humanities & Social Sciences Communications, 8:208.

Abstract

Musical instruments provide material evidence to study the diversity and technical innovation of music in space and time. We employed a cultural evolutionary perspective to analyse organological data and their relation to language groups and population history in South America, a unique and complex geographic area for human evolution. The ethnological and archaeological native musical instrument record, documented in three newly assembled continental databases, reveals exceptionally high diversity of wind instruments. We explored similarities in the collection of instruments for each population, considering geographic patterns and focusing on groupings associated with language families. A network analysis of panpipe organological features illustrates four regional/cultural clusters: two in the Tropical Forest and two in the Andes. Twenty-five percent of the instruments in the standard organological classification are present in the archaeological, but not in the ethnographic record, suggesting extinction events. Most recent extinctions can be traced back to European contact, causing a reduction in indigenous cultural diversity.

Abstract

Musical instruments provide material evidence to study the diversity and technical innovation of music in space and time. We employed a cultural evolutionary perspective to analyse organological data and their relation to language groups and population history in South America, a unique and complex geographic area for human evolution. The ethnological and archaeological native musical instrument record, documented in three newly assembled continental databases, reveals exceptionally high diversity of wind instruments. We explored similarities in the collection of instruments for each population, considering geographic patterns and focusing on groupings associated with language families. A network analysis of panpipe organological features illustrates four regional/cultural clusters: two in the Tropical Forest and two in the Andes. Twenty-five percent of the instruments in the standard organological classification are present in the archaeological, but not in the ethnographic record, suggesting extinction events. Most recent extinctions can be traced back to European contact, causing a reduction in indigenous cultural diversity.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Language Science
07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Special Collections > NCCR Evolving Language
Special Collections > Centers of Competence > Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution
08 Research Priority Programs > Evolution in Action: From Genomes to Ecosystems
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Economics, Econometrics and Finance, General Psychology, General Social Sciences, General Arts and Humanities, General Business, Management and Accounting
Language:English
Date:1 December 2021
Deposited On:21 Sep 2021 16:15
Last Modified:27 Jan 2022 11:17
Publisher:SpringerOpen
ISSN:2662-9992
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-021-00881-z
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)