In this YouTube video, David Byrne, frontman of the Talking Heads, gives a 15-minute TED talk. His thesis is quite interesting: that, through the ages, musical styles and performance practices have evolved to suit their performing venues.
I'd never considered this idea before, and his case is compelling. In so many words, I think Byrne suggests that music adapts to its performance venue the same ways living creatures adapt to their habitats.
He'll explain much more effectively than I can. Go ahead and watch: