Terminology in Music
|CHAPTER I – GENERAL TERMINOLOGY PROBLEMS IN MUSIC||6|
|CHAPTER II – MUSIC INSTRUMENTS||11|
|CHAPTER III – MUSIC STYLES. THE DICTIONARY||15|
|APPENDIX – DICTIONARY OF MUSIC STYLES||21|
Music terminology is not very much developed, just like any other sphere in Latvian. This is why there are different problems when writing papers, articles or books about this theme. Musicians sometimes are in despair, but they cannot help it because of the insufficient knowledge of foreign languages and linguistics.
The aim of this Paper is to investigate terminology problems in music, observe different methods of translating the terms, as well as examine the possibility of coining new terms in Latvian.
The basic problems in music terminology are caused by the lack of resources. Most often people have to use different sources in other languages, in which terminology is better developed or is similar to Latvian, but still slightly better (if the sources can actually be found).
However, sometimes we cannot rely on these foreign sources if they contain translated terms and we do not know their original forms. (See Chapter II) For example, it is not useful to take resources where Latvian music instruments are translated into Russian and then into English, because they differ quite a lot from the original terms. Of course, we have our own literature about our national music and will not search for the materials in other languages, but if an English person reads it, there may be certain problems in finding the original form and that would cause some misunderstandings. Indeed, if we want to translate, the source language is of great importance and we should be sure that it is the original and is not a translated text.
Nowadays, many music journalists come across various new terms they are not able to translate; therefore they use the method of zero-translation and put the term in italics. Mostly this problem refers to music styles and several instruments. This non-translation method is so popular that even recognized terms like jazz, reggae or country are left in the original. (See Chapter I) Most probably this is in order to preserve the writing style, so that all the styles graphically look the same and could be distinguished in the whole text. Thus, we have to read texts, full of italicised terms, quickly catching to the eye, and giving the impression of a foreign text, not very easy to perceive.
Sometimes when we see the foreign term, we come to conclusion we have seen it very often and our eyes know of its existence. However, if we should explain the term we would have no idea about its meaning, because explanations are very seldom (almost never) given in the articles, nor do they appear in any other literature.
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