Musik und Sprache - Vorschlag für ein integratives Modell


  • Alessandro Miani
  • Tobias Gretenkort


music and language, denotation, connotation, semantics of music, syntax of music, semiotic system, Musik und Sprache, Denotation, Konnotation, Semantik der Musik, Syntax der Musik, semiotisches System


This chapter describes the structural similarities between music and language, in pursuit of a strong argument for the hypothesis that music and language are not categorically different from one another, but placed on the same continuum. Hence, we propose an integrative model. Analyzing their denotative and connotative levels, a crucial systemic difference emerged: while in language these levels rely on semantics, in music they depend on syntax and semantics, respectively. Thus, musical syntax and semantics are merged into a unique system that cannot be split. Indeed, an analysis of musical intra- and extra-systemic meanings suggests, that music seems to be to a certain degree auto-referential, while language’s main function is extra-referential. This, ultimately, leads to the difficulty of translating different semiotic systems into one another. We argue that a translation is notwithstanding possible in principle, allocating both music and language on the same semiotic continuum based on their structural similarities.