Ruwet, Nicolas , French linguist and musical analyst; b. Saive, Belgium, Dec. 31, 1932. He studied Romance philology at the Univ. of Liège, with Lévi-Strauss and Benveniste at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, and with Jakobson and Chomsky at the Mass. Inst. of Technology; also studied music privately. In 1968 he became prof. of linguistics at the Univ. of Paris at Vincennes. Although not primarily a musician, he has been a fundamental thinker in the semiology of music, contributing important articles which were reprinted in his Langage, musique, poésie (Paris, 1972). His multi-leveled system for analyzing musical syntax, “distributional analysis,” has been a central influence in the work of Nattiez and his followers.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire