Milos Zatkalik

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Musical terminology is laden with difficulties. The present article will pinpoint some of the most problematic areas of musical terminology, and attempt to get them systematically organized. We will include “false friends” when translating from English into Serbian or Croatian (i.e. parallel keys), words that are polysemous within a language, even if they belong to the technical vocabulary of music theory. We will also discuss the fact that verbal accounts of music are heavily dependent on extra musical metaphors and models.

Although these problems are not specific only to music, there are peculiar reasons why precisely music is so difficult to verbalize. It can be argued that of all the arts, music is the closest to the earliest (primal) modes of mental functioning, ruled by primary processes. As they are unconscious and preverbal, they are extremely elusive when subject to verbal, conscious interpretation.


“false friends,” metaphor, translation, primary process, Daniel Stern

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/FUVAM1901001Z


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