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versión impresa ISSN 2011-0324


CESPEDES GUEVARA, Julián. Construction and communication of meanings in popular music. CS [online]. 2010, n.5, pp.167-218. ISSN 2011-0324.

Both musicology and the psychology of music have traditionally approached the construction and communication of musical meanings using a functionalist model of communication. The purpose of this research is to study these phenomena within the context of popular music, using a constructivist theoretical framework. Two songs from a funk-rock band and 2 songs from a jazz band were heard individually by 6 members of the bands and by 14 participants without formal musical training. The participants were asked to indicate the moments in which the music called their attention, and to elaborate on the meaning of each song. The findings were interpreted as evidence that musical meaning is not inherent to music, that popular music is not always perceived an expression of emotions, and that musical communication depends on the existence of shared symbolic referents by musicians and listeners. As a conclusion, a constructivist conceptual model of musical communication is proposed.

Palabras clave : Musical meaning; Musical Communication; Emotional expression in music; Perception of emotions in music; Popular music.

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