Jean-Jacques Nattiez

Nattiez has been Professor of Musicology at the Université de Montréal's Faculty of Music since 1972. Since 1973 he has given countless lectures in over 20 countries on a wide variety of subjects.

Nattiez, Jean-Jacques
(photo by Fran\u00e7oise Brunelle)

Jean-Jacques Nattiez

Jean-Jacques Nattiez, musicologist, ethnomusicologist (b at Amiens, France 30 Dec 1945; Canadian citizen 1975). He studied first in Amiens, then in Aix-en-Provence and finally in Paris. The subject of his doctoral dissertation was the semiology of music, which applies structural linguistics to music analysis. He is today recognized as the leading authority in this field, and his first major publication, Fondements d'une sémiologie musicale (1975), and its revised second version, Musicologie générale et sémiologie (1987), attracted worldwide attention.

Nattiez has been Professor of Musicology at the Université de Montréal's Faculty of Music since 1972. Since 1973 he has given countless lectures in over 20 countries on a wide variety of subjects. The eclecticism of his more than 100 publications is also remarkable: apart from the semiology of music, they cover topics as diverse as Wagner, Boulez, circumpolar (Inuit, Ainu, Siberian native) music, and the relation between music and literature. Since 1981 he has co-edited with Pierre Boulez the prestigious series "Musique/Passé/Présent" for the Parisian publisher Christian Bourgois, which has released over 25 titles to date. He received 2 Grand Prix du disque from the Académie Charles-Cros in Paris: in 1979 for his production of the recording Inuit Games and Songs for UNESCO, and in 1987 for Collection universelle de musique populaire enregistrée, produced for the Geneva Museum of Ethnography. Other awards and distinctions include the Conseil québécois de la musique's Prix Opus (1998), and 2 literary prizes, the Prix Québec-Paris for his novel Opéra (1998) and the Prix Louis-Hémon de l'Académie de Languedoc for the same work (1999). In 1988 Nattiez became a Member of the Royal Society of Canada and received the Dent Medal from England's Royal Musical Association. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1990 and won the Molson Prize that same year.