In his Classical Style Charles Rosen makes the following statement:
"...the history of music, until our day, may be seen as a gradual
breakdown of the various isolating forces of the art-contrapuntal
independence of voices, homophonic progression, closed and framed
forms, and diatonic clarity." (page 29)
I've been mulling this over all day: at moments it seems like a very
helpful frame with which to consider the evolution of various styles.
However, it seems also to be in danger of obscuring as much as it reveals.