The new project will try to investigate aspects of Chilean society through the analysis of its different musical cultures


An interesting nucleus of research is the one that will be carried out over the next three years in various parts of the country, the objective of which will be to identify and interpret the processes of change and continuity of contemporary Chilean society starting from the description and analysis of local musical cultures through the study of Sound, Music and Listening/Listening Practices (SMLP).

This initiative, called the “Millennium Nucleus on Musical and Sound Cultures (CMUS)” seeks to adopt an interdisciplinary perspective, unprecedented in Chile and Latin America, capable of conceptually and methodologically dialoguing with international centers around the socio-cultural dimensions of music, sound and its listening This lies at the intersection of music studies (ethnomusicology, musicology, folk music studies, sound studies), cultural anthropology, sociology of culture, and music education.

The project, awarded at the Millennium Nucleus Contest in Social Sciences 2022 of the National Agency for Research and Development, ANID, will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team of principal researchers composed of Christian Spencer (Director, Universidad Mayor), Laura Jordán (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso), Daniel Party (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), Andrea Chamorro (Universidad de Tarapacá), Carla Pinochet (substitute director) and Daniela Fugellie (Universidad Alberto Hurtado), also counting on the participation of the Universidad de Los Lagos, through Professor Dr. Ignacio Soto.

The proposal has three axes or lines of research, covering progressive levels in terms of scope and/or abstraction: Communities, Territories and Participation: Focusing on people and the ways in which they practice, get involved with and are influenced by musical cultures; Education and heritage: institutions that make possible the consolidation, reproduction, transmission and conservation of these cultures; Cultural Economics, Industries, and Politics: Addresses the macrosocial forces that directly or indirectly influence the regulation, promotion, or inhibition of musical cultures.

The project also contemplates three transversal and intersectional pillars that condense epistemological, conceptual, ethical-political and methodological challenges for the study of the SMLP: Gender, sexuality and dissident bodies: individual and collective uses of gendered/generated bodies by the SMLP. Ethnicity, racialization and migration: devices for the identification and differentiation of subjects and groups in racial or ethnic terms. Social class and distinction: processes of construction of social and class differences.

Contribution and hallmark

Supported by the academic excellence, trajectory and scientific productivity of leading researchers, the proposal contemplates a territorial project of connection and transfer between academia and society, through work with social organizations (MusiCultures programme), strategically covering 3 areas of the country : north, center and south.

It also includes a student training program (Quadrivium) based on 5 points: teaching, thesis exercises, seminars, complementary training and stays. Finally, the consolidation of a Latin American academic network on music and society is included.

The academic and researcher of the University of Los Lagos, Ignacio Soto, explained that the working group met several times, redefining the original idea until reaching a collective formulation.

“In it we aim to study the transcultural processes of sound, music and listening in “musical cultures” as a critical tool for understanding the processes of change and continuity of recent Chilean society. It also proposes the use of innovative methodologies and a broad theoretical framework that serves to connect with other disciplines, making known the state of musical research throughout the national territory through publications in the press and on the web”, says the researcher.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that this project is the first related to music in over 30 years of activity of the Millennium Initiative, which speaks well of the state of music and sound research in Chile.

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