What does music mean?

Is it any more or less meaning-full than poetry, or painting?

Would the "meaning" remain if it were music composed by a computer?

Is lyric the primary component of the "meaning" in a song, or is melody/rhythm just as important?

(I realize that some of my readers could probably undercut my whole question with arguments about what music is to begin with, but for the sake of debate let's go with the popular "melody/rhythm/sometimes lyric" definition.)


Anonymous said...

lyric vs melody/rhythm? That's quite an old debate. . . progromatic music (with a 'programme' or story attached) vs pure music 'for it's own sake' had very fierce people on both sides in the romantic era. Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Wagner, all had their definite opinions. My opinion? I like both programatic and 'pure' music, though I tend to like putting a story to story-less music, so maybe I lean towards programmatic. . . but don't hold me to that - I may change my mind yet.

Jack said...

Interesting... Let's go a step further, then: are "hymns" more meaningful to you than the melodies they're put to? If so, would the hymns lose some of their meaning with the lyrics removed? I realize there's no way to un-hear the lyrics, so let's just go with a possible scenario: you hear the melody; do you respond by thinking of the lyrics, or just by thinking / humming / tapping the melody/rhythm?