A Grammatical Parallel between Music and Language

  • Ray Jackendoff
  • Fred Lerdahl


For a number of years we have been developing a formal theory of tonal music, based on the goals and methodology of generative linguistics. Without any intention on our part, one aspect of our theory has proved to be closely analogous to some recent developments in phonological theory. In this paper we will describe the parallelism.


Chapter Versus Preference Rule Prosodic Structure Tonal Music Generative Linguistic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ray Jackendoff
    • 1
  • Fred Lerdahl
    • 2
  1. 1.Brandeis UniversityWalthamUSA
  2. 2.Department of MusicColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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