Jean-Jacques Nattiez

Jean-Jacques Nattiez (; born December 30, 1945, Amiens, France) is a musical semiologist or semiotician and professor of musicology at the Université de Montréal. He studied semiology with Georges Mounin and Jean Molino and music semiology (doctoral) with Nicolas Ruwet.

He is a noted specialist on the writings of the composer and conductor Pierre Boulez.

In 1990, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2001, he was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec.


  • 1988, Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association
  • 1989, Prix André-Laurendeau pour les sciences humaines from the Association canadienne française pour l'avancement des sciences
  • 1990, Molson Prize from the Canada Council
  • 1994, prix Léon-Gérin pour les sciences sociales du Gouvernement du Québec
  • 1996, Fumio Koizumi Prize for Ethnomusicology, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2004, the Killam Prize by the Canada Council for the Arts
  • In 2011, he was promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada "for his contributions to the development of musicology as a researcher, professor and specialist of music semiotics".


  • Proust as Musician. Translated by Derrick Puffett. Cambridge, 1989.
  • Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music (Musicologie générale et sémiologue, 1987). Translated by Carolyn Abbate (1990). .
  • Wagner Androgyne; A Study in Interpretation. Translated by Stewart Spencer. Princeton University Press, 1993. (pbk.).