Monelle, Raymond 1937–

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Monelle, Raymond 1937–


Born August 19, 1937, in Bristol, England; son of Ray (a band leader) and Grace Monelle; children: Catherine, Julia. Education: Pembroke College, Oxford, M.A., 1960; Royal College of Music, London, B.Mus. (with first-class honors), 1966.


Home—Edinburgh, Scotland. Office—Alison House, University of Edinburgh, 12 Nicolson Sq., Edinburgh EH8 9DF Scotland. E-mail—[email protected]


University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, reader in music, 1969—, honorary professor, beginning 2007. International Musical Signification Project, member.


Royal Musical Association, Society for Music Theory.


Linguistics and Semiotics in Music, Harwood Academic Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 1992.

(Editor, with Catherine T. Gray) Song and Signification: Studies in Music Semiotics, University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1995.

The Sense of Music: Semiotic Essays, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2000.

The Musical Topic: Hunt, Military, and Pastoral, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 2006.

Contributing editor to Contemporary Music Review, 1997-98.


British writer and educator Raymond Monelle has taught music at the University of Edinburgh for more than thirty-five years. His academic interests include creative and adventurous approaches to music theory, and much of his writing covers various topics in the world of music.

In 1992, Monelle published his first book, Linguistics and Semiotics in Music. It serves as an introduction to the field of music semiotics, presenting the work of a number of theorists around the world. Monelle also contributes his own perspectives on the subject. Opening chapters give quick sketches of aesthetic and protosemiotic ideas from the past two centuries. Later chapters address semantics, narrative grammar, the theory of intonation, linguistic theory, and ethnomusicology. The author presents these concepts in easy-to-understand prose written for readers who might be unfamiliar with these theories. Critics lauded Linguistics and Semiotics in Music overall, citing the author's strong command of and expertise in the subject and comprehensive coverage. The book's "greatest strength is its wide coverage," noted Robert S. Hatten in a review for Notes.



Choice, April, 2001, F. Goosen, review of The Sense of Music: Semiotic Essays, p. 1472.

Music and Letters, February, 1994, Kofi Agawu, review of Linguistics and Semiotics in Music, p. 120.

Notes, March, 1994, Robert S. Hatten, review of Linguistics and Semiotics in Music, p. 1002.


University of Edinburgh, School of Arts, (January 25, 2008), biographical information on Raymond Monelle.