The Núcleo Milenio Center for Music and Sound Cultures (CMUS) is an interdisciplinary research platform that seeks to explore and analyze processes of change and continuity in current Chilean society in regard to music, sound and listening practices. Using a collaborative work method, CMUS combines classic and emerging methodologies of social sciences, arts, and humanities to investigate the social world using the potentialities of sound, musical and aural practices. We are interested in recording, analyzing, and interpreting the cultural landscape contemplating the various factors and constraints that influence the forming of music cultures, in order to offer comprehensive analyses of contemporary society and its processes of change.
Financed by the Millennium Initiative of the Chilean Agency on Research and Development (Iniciativa Milenio de la Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo – ANID), CMUS is comprised of a group of academic institutions from Chile’s north, south, and central area. It brings together researchers from different areas of the social sciences, arts and humanities, with the goal of creating a collaborative research initiative based on a scientific, academic and social perspective.
CMUS aspires to become a national and international reference in sound, musical and aural research, capable of promoting synergy between researchers of various disciplines. In addition to producing specialized knowledge and promoting academic dialogue, this center aims to carry its enquiries to a wide and diverse audience, communicating its results in new platforms and formats that promote social participation.
CMUS’s work revolves around three main areas of interest:
- Communities, territories and participation
This area is focused on the subject of people and the ways they practice, are involved in and are affected by music and sound cultures. Studies are carried out regarding the uses of music, application of music, amateurism and the sounds of daily life in territories and communities. We aim to observe the ways in which music cultures promote different types of grouping, collaboration, and sociability, or act as catalysts of conflict and social tension.
- Education and heritage
This area of interest focuses on the institutions that make consolidation, application, transmission and conservation of music cultures possible. It observes the practices that take place in the context of organizations and institutional spaces –such as schools, universities, museums, archives, etc.– that administer cultural policy on a daily basis, and performs a critical and decolonizing review of the idea of heritage in terms of tradition and of the “history of music” in the context of a mechanism of that establishes music and sound cultures.
- Economies, industries and policies of culture
This area of interest addresses the social factors that directly or indirectly influence the creation of music cultures. It involves the performing of studies regarding the dynamics of music industries and their contemporary transformations, and the analysis of public policies that directly affect the regulation, promotion or inhibition of music cultures, including laws and rights.
Furthermore, CMUS carries out intersectional research based on three fundamental pillars that embody the dimensions found throughout the study of the music cultures both transversal and intersectional, both in terms of its research activities and the way it communicates this knowledge to the community and society. These include:
- Gender, sexualities and dissident bodies
We observe the ways in which music cultures activate individual and collective uses of gendered/sexed bodies via the processes of creation, production, interpretation and reception of musical, sound and listening practices.
- Ethnicity, racialization and migration
We focus on the ways in which musical cultures constitute devices of identification and differentiation as subjects and collectives in racial or ethnic terms, via the processes of creation, production, interpretation and reception of musical, sound and listening practices.
- Social class and distinction
We are interested in the ways in which music cultures serve as vehicles of processes of construction of social and class differences (illustrated/subalternate) via processes of creation, production, interpretation and reception of musical, sound and listening practices.