Reflections on Musical Meaning and Its Representations

Reflections on Musical Meaning and Its Representations

Leo Treitler
Distribution: World
Publication date: 8/17/2011
Format: paper 334 pages, 23 b&w illus., 63 music exx.
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-22316-6
Bookmark and Share
 $35.00  $21.00 

 Add to Wish List 
Buy from Amazon


How is it possible to talk or write about music? What is the link between graphic signs and music? What makes music meaningful? In this book, distinguished scholar Leo Treitler explores the relationships among language, musical notation, performance, compositional practice, and patterns of culture in the presentation and representation of music. Treitler engages a wide variety of historical sources to discuss works from medieval plainchant to Berg’s opera Lulu and a range of music in between.

Author Bio

Leo Treitler is Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus, CUNY Graduate Center, and Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


"Treitler brings to his work the deep experience of a seasoned musician and music historian who is at the same time a thoughtful philosopher, and the benefits of both kinds of experience play through all of his writings in a very palpable way." —Lewis Lockwood, Harvard University

"A determined, imaginative quest to explore musical meaning through a variety of repertoires and a range of methodologies and lines of inquiry." —Walter Frisch, Columbia University

"This is a compendium of writings by one of the most original thinkers in musicology . . . Treitler stands every issue on its head and shakes well to expose a viewpoint about musical meaning . . . Highly recommended." —

"" —Music & Letters , Nov 2012

"A dozen essays await in this most recent gathering of Leo Treitler’s writings, each teeming with ideas and together inviting us to follow one of musicology’s most engaged thinkers in a sustained examination of what he calls the ‘awesome task of representing music’." —
Nineteenth-Century Music Review

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

I. Language
1. Language and the Interpretation of Music
2. Being at a Loss for Words
3. Beethoven’s “Expressive” Markings
II. Performance-
4. The Immanence of Performance in Medieval Song
5. Early Recorded Performances of Chopin Waltzes and Mazurkas: The Relation to the Text
III. Notation
6. What Kind of Thing is Musical Notation?
7. Sketching Music, Writing Music
IV. Interpretative Frames
8. The Lulu Character and the Character of Lulu
9. History and Archetypes
10. Gender and Other Dualities of Music History
11. Hermeneutics, Exegetics, or What?
12. Facile Metaphors, Hidden Gaps, Short Circuits: Should We Adore Adorno?
Related Titles