The Semantics of Chinese Music

Analysing selected Chinese musical concepts

| National University of Singapore
ISBN 9789027204080 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027268914 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
Music is a widely enjoyed human experience. It is, therefore, natural that we have wanted to describe, document, analyse and, somehow, grasp it in language. This book surveys a representative selection of musical concepts in Chinese language, i.e. words that describe, or refer to, aspects of Chinese music. Important as these musical concepts are in the language, they have been in wide circulation since ancient times without being subjected to any serious semantic analysis. The current study is the first known attempt at analysing these Chinese musical concepts linguistically, adopting the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) approach to formulate semantically and cognitively rigorous explications. Readers will be able to better understand not only these musical concepts but also significant aspects of the Chinese culture which many of these musical concepts represent. This volume contributes to the fields of cognitive linguistics, semantics, music, musicology and Chinese studies, offering readers a fresh account of Chinese ways of thinking, not least Chinese ways of viewing or appreciating music. Ultimately, this study represents trailblazing research on the relationship between language, culture and cognition.

Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Tables and figures
1. Introduction
2. "Where Have the Geese Gone?": Chinese concepts related to sonic experience
3. "Following one's intonation": Concepts related to musical articulation, interpretation and perception
4. Being "graceful", "well-moderated" and "restrained": Concepts related to emotional and aesthetic expressions of music
5. Interpreting Guqin Master Xu's "24 virtues" with NSM
6. Conclusion
Appendix I: Xi Shan Qin Kuang 溪山琴況 'The State of Guqin Art of the Xi Shan School'
“This is an eye-opening account of Chinese ways of thinking and talking about music, and by implication, possible ways of thinking and talking about music in general. Musicology and linguistics meet in this book in a way they have never done before. Original and ground-breaking.”
“A delightful book! It offers a practical and interesting methodology to probe how Chinese think and talk about their music. Chinese talk/write a lot about their music!”
“For centuries, the essential qualities of Chinese music hinged on the rising, falling, winding and turning of sound and non-sound elements. Non-sound, according to linguist and musicologist Adrian Tien, includes silence, interruptions and rests, as well as the ebb of sounds as they fall towards nothingness. Non-sound was as integral to music as the white space in a work of calligraphy. Tien observes that it was “expected of even the introductory beholder to hear beyond the sonic form”. Listening was not primarily about the ear: it required a freeing of the mind so that other non-sensory stimuli could be perceived.”
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Cited by 9 other publications

Carson, Lorna & Ning Jiang
2021.  In An Anatomy of Chinese Offensive Words,  pp. 17 ff. Crossref logo
Farese, Gian Marco
2020.  In Studies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication,  pp. 59 ff. Crossref logo
Levisen, Carsten
2021.  Pæn, flot, dejlig, and lækker . International Journal of Language and Culture 8:1  pp. 14 ff. Crossref logo
Levisen, Carsten & Sophia Waters
2017.  In Cultural Keywords in Discourse [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 277],  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Steingo, Gavin & Jim Sykes
2019.  In Remapping Sound Studies,  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Tien, Adrian
2016.  Not so fast: Speed-related conceptsin Chinese music and beyond . Global Chinese 2:2  pp. 189 ff. Crossref logo
Tien, Adrian
2016. Compositionality of Chinese idioms: the issues, the semantic approach and a case study. Applied Linguistics Review 7:2  pp. 149 ff. Crossref logo
Tien, Adrian
2017.  In The Pragmeme of Accommodation: The Case of Interaction around the Event of Death [Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology, 13],  pp. 183 ff. Crossref logo
Zou, Ivan Yifan & William S.-Y. Wang
2021. Music as social bonding: A cross-cultural perspective. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44 Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 october 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CF/2GDC – Linguistics/Chinese
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014044078 | Marc record