The Western musical tradition has produced not only music but also countless writings about music that remain in continuous - and enormously influential-dialogue with their subject. With sweeping scope and philosophical depth, A Language of Its Own traces the past millennium of this ongoing exchange. Ruth Katz argues that the indispensable relationship between intellectual production and musical creation gave rise to the Western conception of music. As ideas entered music from the contexts out of which it arose, its internal language developed in tandem with shifts in intellectual and social history. Katz explores how this infrastructure allowed music to explain itself from within, creating a self-referential and rational foundation that has begun to erode in recent years. A magisterial exploration of this frequently overlooked intersection of Western art and philosophy, A Language of Its Own restores music to its rightful place in the history of ideas.