The article presents a sample of logical analysis performed on the terminology used to describe 'professional' European music in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although we basically confined our analysis to the most elementary part of that terminology, we are convinced that our observations apply to musical terminology as a whole. Using examples from a Polish encyclopaedia of music, we demonstrate the faults characteristic of the whole elementary musical terminology. Firstly, elementary musical terms are often badly defined, using definitions which are inadequate or faulty in other, logically important, respects. Secondly, many musical terms are too imprecise to fulfil the function expected of them. Thirdly, musical terminology is not supported, so far, by a clear conceptual framework. In order to eradicate the faults indicated here, terms which contain them should be explicated, their meaning should be reconstructed, and appropriate regulatory definitions should be formulated. At a future date we intend to perform such a reconstruction on the whole of the elementary musical terminology.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.