Is it accurate to make this statement?

An analogy of the difference between phonetics and phonology can be made with music. Phonetics would be the study of the vocals and sounds made by instruments whereas phonology would be the study of the abstract concepts that led to the music, like reading sheet music or learning musical patterns.

  • 2
    That's the best analogy I have heard in nearly 45 years. I would not say 'led to', because the abstract pattern of notes (not necessarily even on paper) is the music, which can be realized as a particular performance. Phonology is the music.
    – user6726
    Jul 18 '16 at 22:28
  • 1
    Wow thank you. I'm about to return to school for a Master's in Linguistics and I'm trying to nail down as much terminology as possible in my own words before I begin. Your comment makes me think I'm making the right decision. Should I change 'lead to' to 'help conceptualize' maybe?
    – Tom
    Jul 18 '16 at 23:08
  • A phonology of the word "drives" is the open-ended conceptualization of all of the performances of the word, just as a score is the open-ended conceptualization of all of the performances (past, present and future) of the piece. I don't think it just helps conceptualize, it is the reduction of the physical stuff "out there" to concepts "in here".
    – user6726
    Jul 19 '16 at 0:11

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