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With Voice and PenComing to Know Medieval Song and How it Was Made$
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Leo Treitler

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214761

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214761.001.0001

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The Early History of Music Writing in the West

The Early History of Music Writing in the West

Chapter:
(p.317) CHAPTER 13 The Early History of Music Writing in the West
Source:
With Voice and Pen
Author(s):

Leo Treitler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214761.003.0013

This chapter focuses on the invention and early uses of technologies for the representation of the melodic aspect of song in writing. It has four objectives: (i) to distinguish between the analysis of neumatic music writing from the standpoints of palaeography, on the one side, and semiotics, on the other; (ii) to suggest what the characteristics of a semiotic analysis of music writing would be; (iii) to argue for the importance of a semiotic approach, if we are to integrate the scientific study of musical notation into the historical understanding of the musical cultures that it served, and if we are to have a plausible view of the evolution of musical notation; and (iv) to sketch a provisional outline of such an evolutionary view, with due care for the sense of ‘evolution’ that can be applied to this material.

Keywords:   technology, melody, music writing, semiotic approach, palaeography

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