1st Edition

Linguistics and Semiotics in Music

By Raymond Monelle Copyright 1992

    This handbook for advanced students explains the various applications to music of methods derived from linguistics and semiotics. The book is aimed at musicians familiar with the ordinary range of aesthetic and theoretical ideas in music; no specialized knowledge of linguistic or semiotic terminology is necessary. In the two introductory chapters, semiotics is related to the tradition of music aesthetics and to well-known works like Deryck Cooke's The Language of Music, and the methods of linguistics are explained in language intelligible to musicians. There is no limitation to one school or tradition; linguistic applications not avowedly semiotic, and semiotic theories not connected with linguistics, are all included. The book gives clear and simple descriptions with ample diagrams and music examples of the 'neutral level', 'semiotic analysis', transformation and generation, structural semantics and narrative grammar, intonation theory, the ideas of C.S. Peirce, and applications in ethnomusicology.

    Introduction to the Series, Preface, Copyright Acknowledgements, 1. Introduction: Music and Meaning, 2. Linguistic and Structuralist Theory, from Saussure to Piaget, 3. Metalanguage, Segmentation and Repetition, 4. The Analysis of the Neutral Level, 5. Transformation and Generation, 6. Linguistics and World Music, 7. Icon, Index and Symbol, 8. Semantics and Narrative Grammar, 9. The Theory of Intonation, 10. Deconstruction and Allegory, 11. Epilogue, Bibliography, Index of persons


    Raymond Monelle studied at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he gained an MA in modern history in 1960. He then received a BMus at the Royal College of Music, London, in 1966 and a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 1979. He has written widely on Italian opera seria (his research thesis subject) and the semiotics and semantics of music. He is well-known for his music reviews of opera and concerts throughout Scotland in The Independent. He is also a conductor and composer and has lectured in Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia. He is currently senior lecturer in music at the University of Edinburgh.

    "05/13/02, Ethnodoxology."