Musical Terminology, Digital Corpus Management and Translation

Sanja Kiš Žuvela

Respondent: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Fabian Moss (University of Würzburg)

9 February 2023, 6 pm CET | 9. Februar 2023, 18 Uhr MEZ

View the Lecture on YouTube

Computational corpus analysis has been transferred from cognitive linguistics to music research for some time, mainly for the analysis of sheet music, recordings and other digital or digitised data, but corpora of verbal texts are relatively rarely analysed. In my lecture I shall present some possibilities of applying digital corpus management tools to verbal texts in the field of music theory, especially the ones that can enhance teaching and learning in higher music education.

The first part of the lecture will introduce the audience to the common features of contemporary terminology databases, their restrictions and shortcomings that are particularly evident when it comes to music theory terms. It will also deal with issues such as the multi-layered structure of musical metalanguage, its contextually conditioned discourse levels (registers) and variety. The above will serve as an introduction to the semantic aspects of music theory terminology, which often resists the standardisation and normalisation rules that are prerequisites of the work with terminological databases. The second part of the lecture will include translational aspects of multilingual musical terminology that are often self-understood in higher education and research, but practice shows that they deserve much more attention.


Sanja Kiš Žuvela is an Assistant Professor of Musicology and Vice Dean for Study Programmes and Lifelong Learning at the Academy of Music, University of Zagreb. Her principal research interests include the analysis of 20th and 21st century music, music perception and cognition, relationships between music and visual arts, music and language, cognitive linguistics, and issues of contemporary musical terminology. She is the author of several dozens of academic papers, which include a book, The Golden Section and the Fibonacci Sequence in 20th Century Music (Zagreb 2011).