Felice Cimatti, Stefano Oliva

Is Music a Metalanguage? Some Remarks on Wittgenstein and Berio

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Keywords: Wittgenstein, Berio, Music, Metalanguage, Music game.

This article deals with the relationship between music and language in the light of Italian composer Luciano Berio’s reflection on music as a «language of languages». Berio’s refusal to consider the possibility of a «meta-music» is interpreted through a comparison with the thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose Tractatus logico philosophicus was appreciated by Berio for «its evident concreteness». Berio’s «language of languages» is nor a meta-language in respect to other languages or semiotic systems, nor it implies to consider «music» as a species of the superordinate genus «language». The hypothesis developed in the article is that the place occupied by the «language of languages» for Berio, in Tractatus is occupied by logic, that is, such a nonlinguistic and formal apparatus that allows language to exist.

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