Volume 10   Number 2     Fall 2017

The Narrative Function of Music in a Contemporary Society: Designing an Empirical Approach Through Dialogical and Representational Practices of the Social Self

Aris Lanaridis
Leeds Beckett University, UK

pp. 139-152

Abstract. The ability of music to transmit emotional intention is a widely acknowledged phenomenon across a range of musicological, psychological and semiological research disciplines. Much of this research has focused on the description of the narrative qualities of music within the communication process. However, there is still insufficient explanation of the underlying reasons for the ability to transmit emotional ideas, and little empirical research has been undertaken on the extent and accuracy of the narrative functionality of music. This article considers the reasons, level and extent of the narrative capacity of music in the context of a contemporary society. For this, it looks at the Self from an angle of internal dialogical activity, in order to investigate the subconscious interaction between individual and society. The article also considers the factors that may influence the shaping of musical taste and that may be responsible of setting the mode through which listeners perceive and filter music in the contemporary culture. Specific emphasis is given to the role of the media not only as an important source of information but also as a mechanism for influencing our perception of societal reality.


Keywords: plurality of cultural voices/personas, plurality of promoter positions, intersubjectivity, social identity, dialogical self, social representations