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Every Child a Composer

Music Education in an Evolutionary Perspective

Nicholas Bannan

This book breaks new ground in drawing on evolutionary psychology in support of advocacy for music education, and the presentation of innovative musical pedagogy. The book adopts the perspective that musical experience is the birthright of all human beings through the decisive role it played in the evolution of our species, the traces of which we carry in our genes. The author draws on scientific developments in acoustics, neuroscience, linguistics, archaeology and anthropology to examine theories that have emerged powerfully during the last twenty years and which argue for the significance of the practice of music as foundational to human culture. This position is examined in parallel with research into how children learn musically, and the role that creative decision making plays in this. A series of strategies is presented that explores collective creativity which draws on vocalisation, the use of gesture, and instinctive responses to harmony to develop musical imagination.

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Chapter 13: Expanding the universe via modulation: Excursions to replacement keys

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CHAPTER 13

Expanding the universe via modulation: Excursions to replacement keys

Having securely established the strong family relationships between the three Primary Triads, and begun to vary the voice-leading pathways that we can employ to loosen up the harmonic possibilities they embrace (including inversion), we can consider some further alternatives that introduce variety while at the same time conferring confidence in location together with effective performance and leadership skills within such an expanded vocabulary.

The techniques that will be introduced next include the following:

• New chords within the scale in addition to the Primary Triads.

• Major-minor alternation.

• ‘Replacement’ strategies that accustom the ear to locating the voice-leading consequence of placing alternative chords in the Tonic position.

• Full modulation procedures in which the Tonic of the original key is undermined by non-key pitches and replaced by a new one.

Because the procedure that best builds aurally on what we have already experienced is ‘replacement’ (see pp. 143–5 for how we introduced the monophonic equivalent), we will deal with this first and then introduce the other strategies. The means we will employ is familiar from word-processing: a cut-and-paste technique.

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