Musical Semiotics as a Tool for the Social Study of Music. By Óscar Hernández Salgar. Translated by Brenda M. Romero.

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Brenda M. Romero

Abstract

Recent studies on musical signification have been characterized by an apparently insurmountable gap between disciplines that focus on the musical text as sound (music theory, musicology), those that focus on the hearing subject (cognitive sciences, psychology of music), and those that focus on social discourses about music (ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology). This article argues that the most recent theoretical advances in music semiotics provide means to overcome this gap. After a brief examination of some key concepts in music semiotics, the author identifies three approaches to this problem: the semiotic-hermeneutic approach, the cognitive-embodied approach, and the social-political approach. This classification allows him to introduce a brief methodological proposal for the study of musical signification from different academic perspectives.

Originally published in Spanish in Cuadernos de Música, Artes Visuales, y Artes Escénicas 7, no. 1 (January 2011):39-77.

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