Musical Signification: A Systematic, Analytical and Pedagogical Approach

  • Joan GrimaltEmail author
Part of the Numanities - Arts and Humanities in Progress book series (NAHP, volume 2)


The article presents a general survey of the field of Musical Signification, as it appears in a textbook that the author has published in 2014 (Música i sentits [Music and Senses]). The idea is to discuss the way in which the book’s list of contents classifies this area of musicology, inevitably favoring some aspects over others. The book responds to frequent requests of Analysis students, who require an accessible text where all these questions are organized, summarized, explained and provided with examples, to be used in further analyses. The main concepts of scholars such as Márta Grabócz, Robert Hatten, Raymond Monelle, Philip Tagg and Eero Tarasti, have been considered and synthesized into this new text. The analytical and theoretical aspects in each chapter are presented one after the other, to allow different approaches and to promote a useful, practical reading without neglecting its musicological basis. The ultimate standpoint is that of Dario Martinelli’s Numanities, i.e. a passionate, yet thorough reflexion about the role that traditional humanities can and should play in our time.


Semantic Field Musical Sign Instrumental Music Music Student Musical Tradition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bartel, Dietrich. 1997/1985. Musica Poetica. Handbuch der musikalischen Figurenlehre. 4th ed. Regensburg: Laaber.Google Scholar
  2. Carter, Tim, and John Butt (eds.). 2005. Chapter 7. The search for musical meaning. In The Cambridge history of seventeenth-century music, 158–196. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cone, Edward T. 1974. The composer’s voice. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  4. Grimalt, Joan. 2014a. Música i sentits [Music and Senses]. Barcelona: Duxelm.Google Scholar
  5. Grimalt, Joan. 2014b. Is musical laughter a topic? In Philosophies of performance, eds. D. Martinelli, E. Tarasti and J. Torvinen, 225–240. Helsinki: The Finnish Semiotic Society.Google Scholar
  6. Kramer, Lawrence. 1995. Classical music and postmodern knowledge. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  7. McClelland, Clive. 2012. Ombra: Supernatural music in the eighteenth century. Lanham, Maryland, etc.: Lexington Books 2012.Google Scholar
  8. McClelland, Clive. 2014. Chapter 10 ‘Ombra and Tempesta’. In The Oxford handbook of topic theory, ed. D. Mirka, 279–300. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Monelle, Raymond. 1992. Linguistic and semiotics in music. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Monelle, Raymond. 2000. The sense of music: Semiotic essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Monelle, Raymond. 2006. The musical topic. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Escola Superior de Música de CatalunyaBarcelona, CataloniaSpain

Personalised recommendations