Thanks Mr Darwin for the laughs II: Musical Evolution

Thanks Mr Darwin for the laughs II: Musical Evolution

This is the second story for my series Thanks Mr Darwin for the laughs (from the Science Against Evolution website) :

Musical Evolution
In observance of National Evolution Day (April 1), we have decided to let a famous evolutionist write our feature article this month. P.D.Q. Darwin proudly traces his ancestry all the way back to Charles Darwin through a series of brief relationships recognized neither by church nor state. Although he has no formal training in music, he published his theory of musical evolution, (which has dramatically changed how people understand music) based on observations he made on a tour of South America and the Galapagos Islands as a “roadie” with the British rock band, the Beagles.

Hey, Dudes! You know, the biological theory of evolution has proved to be so powerful that it has been extended to other fields such as the origin of life (chemical evolution) and the origin of stars, planets, solar systems, and galaxies. This is really cool because chemicals and stars don’t reproduce, and there aren’t, you know, more of them that can possibly survive. But anyway, scientists pattern chemical evolution and stellar evolution after biological evolution because it is so neat. But it wasn’t until I went to the Galapagos Islands that anyone realized that music evolves exactly the same way.

Musical evolution is like, you know, really deep. So, I’m gonna make it really easy for you by using what we scientists call a “case study.” I’m gonna show you how the song Louie, Louie evolved into The William Tell Overture.

Some dumb people, who believe everything they read in Billboard magazine, think Louie, Louie was written by Richard Berry in 1956 and William Tell was written by Gioacchino Rossini in 1829, so Louie, Louie could not have evolved into William Tell. But recent analysis has shown that Louie, Louie is hundreds of years older than previously believed.

Louie, Louie is like, a really primitive song. I mean, it’s only got three chords in it. Just A, D, and Em. It hadn’t even evolved to the modern chord progression of A, D, and E7.

But William Tell, man, it’s like fully-evolved. It’s got lots of chords, and all those trumpets and violins and other orchestra stuff in it. It couldn’t have evolved until the Lone Ranger came along with his cloud of dust and “Hi, Ho, Silver!”

Louie and William are both male names. That shows both songs have a common origin. Louie is much closer to the original male-named song, which evolved from a song about people of both genders, which evolved from songs about apes. Ya know, sheet music doesn’t last very long, so the musical record has many gaps in it. That’s why we haven’t found, and may never find, the missing links. But because both songs have male name titles, they HAVE to have had a common origin.

I’ll admit that nobody knows exactly how music evolves, but that doesn’t change the FACT that music does evolve all by itself, without the help of a composer, through some form of mutation and natural selection.

According to the theory of modern synthesis, music evolves gradually over time. Random changes in the pitch, duration, or volume of individual notes make the song sound just a little bit different. If the audience likes the changes, then the musician keeps playing it that way. Not too many dudes believe this any more, though, ‘cause it really, you know, doesn’t work. Usually when you change the pitch you get a sour note. And if the duration changes, well, man, you just can’t dance to it. And if it really happened that way, then, we would, like, be able to find lots of songs that are links between two songs. But, the links just aren’t there.

So now, a lot of dudes think it’s punctuated equilibrium, man. Yeah, the musician changes lots of notes all at once. It’s like, Rockin' Robin Roberts’ guitar solo in the middle of Louie, Louie, where he just kinda plays random notes for a while. Then, bam! Right there in the middle of Louie you got something like William. I mean, that’s sorta how it has to work, I guess.

But some losers just can’t get over that composer myth. They keep saying somebody actually wrote The William Tell Overture. But, have you, like, ever actually seen this Gioacchino Rossini dude? Sure, there are books that say he lived in 1829, but how can you be sure?

They say composers are supposed to be talented and loving. If that is true, how do you explain Country & Western music? Country & Western composers, if they exist, seem to love to make people suffer. All their songs are about suffering. Do you know what you get if you play a C&W song backwards? You get your girl back, you get your job back, you get your truck back, you get your dog back, … (Sorry, man, but I love that old joke.)

And that stuff about Richard Berry writing Louie, Louie. That’s a crock! People don’t understand the words very well, but that’s because it was all translated from French. No lie, man. Marie Antoinette first sang it to King Louie XVI on April 18, 1791. Originally, the words were

Louie, Lou-eye, Oh baby, yeah, we gotta go! Yah, Yah, Yah, Yah.
Oh, Louie, Lou-eye, Oh baby, yeah, we gotta go!

A big angry mob is coming for thee.
They got this big sharp guillotine.
I don’t understand the big fuss they make,
If they got no bread, they can just eat cake!

Oh, Louie, Louie, Oh baby, yeah, we gotta go! Yah, Yah, Yah, Yah …

But the rest of the song got kind of lost in the shouts of the crowd, so we don’t really know what the rest of the words are, but “Hi! Ho! Silver!” must have been in there someplace.

Music doesn’t come from composers, dude. It comes from inside yourself. Music gets better as musicians get better. We gotta keep those “music history” classes out of the curriculum.