Is Language a Music? presents broadly ranging explorations of musical reference that address how and why language cannot be the only measure of meanings. Music, the author insists, is pervaded by significations, but often their erasure is as pertinent to artistry as their construction. This volume’s 15 essays in musical semiotics are grouped into sections that treat issues in structural description, present alternative views of theoretical foundations, consider the elaboration of gestural references to form musical discourse, explore some stylistic issues in 20th-century music, and examine the resistance to reference which is esteemed in the tradition of absolute music.
Musical Meaning and Interpretation—Robert S. Hatten, editor