Semiotics of Musical Time

by Thomas Reiner (Author)
©2000 Monographs XII, 252 Pages


Semiotics of Musical Time investigates the link between musical time and the world of signs and symbols. It examines the extent to which musical time is a product of signs, sign systems, and sign-oriented behavior. Sound is discussed as a potential sign of time and of musical time. Inherent and recognizable temporal features are identified in a number of musical works. Time as a compositional concern is examined in the case of Igor Stravinsky and Karlheinz Stockhausen. A principal distinction between hearing associated with perception and listening associated with cognition provides the basis for the proposition that musical time is both unheard and imperceptible. The role of concepts, and their designations, is investigated to demonstrate that consciousness of musical time involves semiotic processes.


XII, 252
ISBN (Hardcover)
signs perception symbols cognition
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., Oxford, Wien, 2000. XII, 252 pp.

Biographical notes

Thomas Reiner (Author)

The Author: Thomas Reiner is a composer, music producer, performer, and writer. His music is widely performed and he has won many awards and distinctions, including a prize in the International Witold Lutoslawski Composers’ Competition. He is the musical director of the contemporary music ensemble re-sound and a performer in the electronic-music duo tree. He has published articles on musical time, DJ culture, and techno music. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne and lectures music at Monash University.


Title: Semiotics of Musical Time