Eero Tarasti

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Eero Aarne Pekka Tarasti (born September 27, 1948 in Helsinki), is a Finnish musicologist and semiologist, currently serving as Professor of Musicology at the University of Helsinki.

He received his Ph.D. degree at the University of Helsinki in 1978, writing his dissertation Myth and Music on Richard Wagner, Jean Sibelius, and Igor Stravinsky.[1] Then, Tarasti served at the University of Jyväskylä between 1979–1984, where he was appointed Professor of Arts Education in 1979 and Professor of Musicology in 1983. In 1984 he took the position of Professor of Musicology in Helsinki, succeeding Erik Tawaststjerna. Tarasti has held posts as Director or President in several semiotic and musical societies and since the 1970s has written and edited numerous books encompassing a semiotic approach to music. He is the President of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (2004–current), and the Director of the International Semiotics Institute.

Eero Tarasti is married to Eila Marita Elisabet Tarasti, pianist and musicologist



  • Studies at the University of Helsinki 1967–1975
  • Ph.D. at the University of Helsinki 1978
  • Music studies (piano) at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki 1967–1975

Studies abroad


  • Vienna 1972
  • Paris 1973 (Ecole Normale de Musique), with Jacques Février 1974–75


  • Paris 1974–75 (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)
  • Rio de Janeiro 1976 (Universidade Federal)


  • Professor of Arts Education, University of Jyväskylä 1979–83
  • Professor of Musicology, University of Jyväskylä 1983–84
  • Professor of Musicology, University of Helsinki, since 1984



  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1997
  • Honorary Doctor of the Estonian Music Academy, 1999
  • Honorary Doctor of the New Bulgarian University, Sofia, 2001
  • Honorary Fellow of the Victoria College, University of Toronto
  • J. V. Snellman Prize of the University of Helsinki 1997
  • The Science Prize of the City of Helsinki, 1998
  • Honorary Member of the Richard Wagner Society in Finland 2008
  • Fellow of the International Communicology Institute, Washington D.C., USA, 2010
  • The 1st Class Medal of the White Rose Order of Finland 1999
  • The Medal of the Order of Rio Branco, Brazil (the category of Officials) 2000
  • Chevalier de l'Ordre Palme Académique, France, 2004


  1. "Sibeliusta analyyttisesti". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 23 December 2001. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  2. Available also in the internet:

See also