Iconography, Nomenclature, and Sound: Building a Musical Database

Cynthia I. Gonzales


Musicians who possess functional sight singing and dictation skills have unified into a single entity three discrete bodies of knowledge about music: iconography, nomenclature, and sound. Iconography refers to the visual representation of music. By nomenclature, I mean any labeling system for pitch, rhythm, and harmony. The third component—musical sound—is abstract, being invisible to human eyes and intangible to human touch. In this essay, I suggest approaches to unifying iconography, nomenclature, and sound into a "musical database," as well as propose a curricular reform in which aural skills precedes courses in written theory.


sight singing; music dictation; aural skills; ear training

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/es.v7i0.7367


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Cynthia I. Gonzales

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Beginning with Volume 7 (2019), Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license unless otherwise indicated.

Volumes 1 (2013) – 6 (2018) were published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise indicated.

Volumes 1–6 are openly available here.

Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy is published by The Ohio State University Libraries.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact libkbhelp@lists.osu.edu.

ISSN: 2689‐2871