About the project

The project will be dealing with major problems of basic contemporary musical terminology in Croatia, which appear within the entire system of formal music education (from parallel elementary and secondary music education to the high-school level at the academies of music). The main goal of the project is to diagnose problems and to propose a contemporary lexical norm which would correspond with the demands of the musical domain, as well as to fit into the system of the Croatian official language standard. Such a goal can only be achieved in an interdisciplinary cooperation of field experts and skilled linguists, experts in terminology and the contemporary Croatian language. Bearing in mind the severe heterogeneity of musical terminology in the above mentioned education system, as well as the deficiencies of Croatian contemporary lexicographic and normative literature in the field, the standardization of current musical terminology imposes itself as an important scientific and general task for all participants in that system.

The Republic of Croatia is one of the rare countries with a parallel state-funded system of art education (i. e. a system of special music and dance schools outside the compulsory education system, preparing the students for professional artistic training in higher education), so the standardization of musical terminology also represents an important prerequisite for an array of legal documents in this field of education. Many legal aspects of the art education system still need to be regulated: the arts education curricula, knowledge catalogues and various other directives. Based on that, field experts should develop teaching tools and literature in accord with the demands of Croatian as a modern standard language. The main problem in achieving such a goal is the lack of contemporary referential literature that could serve as a modern terminological basis for that task, especially in the legal context of the European Union, with Croatian being one of the official languages. This deficiency would also be solved within this project.

The general objectives of the project will therefore be: to locate problems through analysis of recent corpus of professional literature in the field, to analyse variants in the usage of musical metalanguage among teaching professionals, to compare the Croatian musical terminology with other languages, as well as to propose alternative solutions for inappropriate basic musical terms in daily use. The most important aim of the project is to make available to public a set of 2000 standardized and/or harmonized basic musical terms in form of a free internet database and a published handbook. This interdisciplinary project will be achieved through intensive cooperation of musicologists and linguists, which will ensure a high level of linguistic normativity along with musicological aptness. The project is partially based on a former state-funded scientific project Hrvatska glazbena terminologija (Croatian Musical Terminology, conducted from 1991 to 1993; also led by Nikša Gligo; more information: http://www.mzos.hr/svibor/6/04/172/proj_h.htm ).

At the very beginning of the project the PI Gligo and his team will announce their activities to the general public and field experts by creating the project website and organizing presentations for target population – primarily teaching staff at all levels of music education, as well as interested students. The presentations will cover the basic information on the objectives of the project, as well as the activities to be performed within. The presentations will establish awareness of the problems the project is dealing with, and provide useful initial feedback from fellow field experts. The project will also be announced in national and international field journals, expert and general periodicals and national daily press.

The first stage of the research will encompass various pre-analysis procedures like recording, collecting and selecting corpora of field literature published in the past 30 years and analysing teaching programmes and terms-and-concepts catalogues. A list of approximately 2000 most important basic musical terms will be selected and prepared for further stages of the project. Disputable terms and concepts will be excluded into a separate list and divided in categories after a thorough linguistic analysis.

The central stage of the project will be a historical and comparative-linguistic research of the disputable terms and concepts. A public opinion research will be executed in order to establish and analyse the variants in usage of the disputable terms and concepts among teaching professionals. The research team will analyse and evaluate each disputable term and concept in order either to eliminate inappropriate variants and to propose a standard term variant, or to create a neologism where there exist no adequate variants. The results of the standardization will be re-evaluated by the analysis of the public opinion among teaching professionals at all education levels.

Within the last stage of the project the researchers will summarize the results of the project activities and prepare various texts for dissemination: from handy flyers and handbooks to the complete records gathered in (an) original scientific paper(s). The results will be published in both special field and general public press, as well as on the project website, which will be continuously and regularly updated. A free web-based terminological database of about two thousand terms will be created. The users will be able to contact the members of the research team and to comment on the results of the research. Presentations and lectures for various audiences will be organized in Croatia and abroad. The interested field experts will gain information and directives on the proposed lexical norm and other aspects of the project.

During the whole project period the PI and other members of the research team will be continuously participating in domestic and international terminological courses. They will also make study tours in order to learn from the similar research teams and institutions. The aim of those training activities is to acquire tools and techniques for corpus analysis and organizing a terminological database, as well as to exchange knowledge and establish contacts for comparative purposes.