Nattiez, Jean-Jacques

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Nattiez, Jean-Jacques

Nattiez, Jean-Jacques, learned French-born Canadian musicologist; b. Amiens, Dec. 30, 1945. He studied piano privately while pursuing musical training at the Amiens Cons. Following further studies in Aixen-Provence (L.Litt. in modern languages, 1967; Licentiate in linguistics, 1968; M.Litt. in modern languages, 1968), he studied in Paris (Certificat d’aptitude pédagogique à l’enseignement secondaire, 1970; Ph.D., 1973, with a diss. on musical semiology). He also received instruction in conducting from Jacques Clément in Montreal, Fernand Quattrochi and Pierre Dervaux in Nice, and Charles Brück in Hancock, Maine. He settled in Canada, becoming a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1975. In 1970 he became a prof, at the Univ. of Montreal, where he taught musicology (from 1972) and also was director of the Groupe de recherches en sémiologie musicale (1974–80). From 1980 to 1985 he was co-ed, of the Canadian University Music Review/Revue de musique des universités canadiennes. With Pierre Boulez, he became co-ed, of the series Musique /Passé /Présent of Paris in 1981. From 1984 to 1987 he was music director of the Joliette-Lanaudière Sym. Orch. In 1988 he was elected to membership in the Royal Soc. of Canada and was awarded the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Assn. of England. In 1990 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. Nattiez is a foremost authority on musical semiotics. His study, Fondements d’une sémiologie de la musique (Paris, 1975; rev. and expanded, 1987, as Musicologie générale et sémiologie), is notable for its erudite investigation of structural linguistics as applied to musical analysis.


Fondements d’une sémiologie de la musique (Paris, 1975; rev. and expanded, 1987, as Musicologie générale et sémiologie); Tetralogies “Wagner, Boulez, Chéreau,” essai sur l’infidélité (Paris, 1983); Proust musicien (Paris, 1989); II discorso musicale, Per una semiologia della musica (Turin, 1987); De la sémiologie à la musique (Montreal, 1988); ed. Pierre Boulez, John Cage: Correspondance et documents (vol. I, Basel, 1990); Wagner adrogyne: Essai sur l’interprétation (Paris, 1990); Le combat de Chronos et d’Orphée: Essais (Paris, 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire