Examinations of music signification have been an essential component of thinking about music for millennia, but it is only in the last forty years that music signification has been established as an independent field of study. During this time, the field has grown exponentially. Initially formulated as "meaning in music," "emotion in music," or "musical semiotics," it now includes a vast array of approaches that seek to ground how music means and sometimes even to explore what it may mean. The Routledge Handbook of Music Signification captures the richness and complexity of the study of musical signification by offering essays by recognized international experts that reflect current thinking about issues shaping the field and apply this thinking to a wide variety of topics.
Given their strongly interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary tendencies, studies of musical signification typically embrace concepts and methodologies imported from semiotics, literary criticism, linguistics, the visual arts, philosophy, sociology, history, and psychology, among others. By bringing together such approaches in transparent groupings that reflect music’s social, political, historical, and ideational contexts, and by encouraging critical dialogue, this volume begins to impose some order on the variety and complexity of interdisciplinary incursions into musicological discourse. As such, it provides at once an authoritative survey of the discipline and a significant advance in music signification research.
Esti Sheinberg and William P. Dougherty
Nicholas P. McKay
Taylor A. Greer
Yayoi Uno Everett