Foundations of Musical Grammar


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project is concerned with developing a technical account of musical organization based on human cognitive capacities and on the central functions of music in human cultures: a cognitive grammar of music. Its perspective is informed by the construction grammar approach that has shaped recent work in cognitive linguistics. The project has two main parts: a theoretical specification that sets out definitions of the basic elements of musical grammar as well as the syntactic resources through which more extended musical utterances are created; and the development of experimental protocols to test the viability of the theoretical model.