Emergentism and musicology: an alternative perspective to the understanding of dissonance

Luis Felipe de Oliveira

Pós-Graduação em Filosofia, área de concentração em Ciência Cognitiva e Filosofia da Mente

Charbel Niño El-Hani

Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia

Edson Sekeff Zampronha

Departamento de Música, Instituto de Artes, UNESP


In this paper we develop an approach to musicology within the discussion of emergentism. First of all, we claim that some theories of musicology could be insufficient in describing and explaining musical phenomena when emergent properties are not taken into account. Actually, musicology usually considers just syntactical elements, structures and processes and puts only a little emphasis, if any, over perceptual aspects of human hearing. On the other hand, recent research efforts are currently being directed towards an understanding of the emergent properties of auditory perception, especially in fields such as cognitive science. Such research leads to other views concerning old issues in musicology and could create a fruitful approach, filling the gap between musicology and auditory perception.

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