Hernández Salgar, Óscar. Musical Semiotics as a Tool for the Social Study of Music. Translated by Brenda M. Romero. Ethnomusicology Translations, no. 2. Bloomington, IN: Society for Ethnomusicology, 2016.
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.
SEM thanks Óscar Hernández Salgar (author), Brenda M. Romero (translator), and Richard K. Wolf (Ethnomusicology Translations General Editor) for the preparation of this translation. Special thanks also to contributors to SEM’s Sound Future Campaign, which is supporting this publication series.
Ethnomusicology Translations is a peer-reviewed, open-access online series for the publication of ethnomusicological literature translated into English. Articles and other literature in any language other than English will be considered for editorial review, translation, and publication. Preference will be given to individual articles published in scholarly journals or books during the past 20 years. As a central online resource, Ethnomusicology Translations aims to increase access to the global scope of recent music scholarship and advance ethnomusicology as an international field of research and communication.