Western Art Music from the Perspective of Cultural Studies


Manuel Deniz Silva

List of researchers

Musical ideas, genres and practices are studied from an interdisciplinary perspective, including a broad variety of approaches, from cultural history to sociology, from anthropology to music analysis.

The main axes of research are the history of musical ideas in Portugal from the Ancien Régime to modernity, the role of music in strategies of symbolic representation and power reinforcement, the study of domestic and public musical praxis, the musical exchange between Portugal and its colonies, the interaction between art music and traditional and urban popular musics.

This group was created in 2007 to develop a cultural studies perspective in research on Art Music in Portugal and Brazil from the 16th century up to the present, an innovative theoretical approach in musicological studies combining traditional methodologies of historical musicology with the input of cultural history, ethnomusicology and music sociology.

- Publishing research results and selected primary sources nationally and internationally in peer-reviewed journals and monographic series
- Organizing national and international colloquia
- Constituting relational data bases, including written documents, recordings, notated music, iconography, and audiovisual materials
- Developing archival research on documentary resources both in Portugal and Brazil
- Developing outreach activities through which research results can be projected to the general public, with special reference to the edition of historical recordings and monographic books on Portuguese art music for a broad audience

Research Themes:
- The main Portuguese schools and institutions of Polyphonic Music, testing new analytical methodologies towards the characterization of this repertoire within the main trends of European art music of the same period.
- Musical life in Portugal and Brazil at the end of the Ancien Régime, combining the study of traditional musicological sources (biographical, notational, etc.) with general historical documentation. This approach allows for the understanding of the interaction between art music and traditional and popular musics in Portugal and Brazil, applying, namely, the new perspectives of multicultural and post-colonial studies.
- Music and politics during the Salazar regime, combining a historical, sociological and anthropological perspective, with special focus on musical state policies, art music production, publishing and teaching, musicological production, radio and symphonic orchestras.



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