Sonic semiotics - the role of music in marketing communications

Semiotic analyses have generally privileged visual over aural signs. This paper seeks to extend the boundaries of semiotics by recognising that sound and music also function as signs in culture and advertising.

Sonic semiotics – the role of music in marketing communications

Chris Arning and Alex Gordon Flamingo International, United Kingdom


It was Aristotle who remarked that the eyes are the organs of temptation, but the ears are the organs of instruction. The ear doesn't just take in sound or noise, but sends it to the brain, setting in motion creative thought. One of the crucial tasks that the ear performs is to help us remember and recollect. By recalling sounds we have heard, the ear enables us to interpret and make meaning out of the environment around...

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