I read a review of Frank Zappa and the And this week – and despite its negativity, it got me thinking about the ways in which our world views impact the ways in which we interpret meaning in music. Being simplistic about it – if one looks at the world through a Marxist lens, the chances are you will be suspicious of (what you perceive to be) authority (such as universities or academics), not to mention the ‘truth’ that institutionalised narratives impose. Likewise, if you regard music to be ‘absolute’ (when its beauty is itself), semiological (where it has the potential to refer to meanings outside of the music itself) or spiritual (where it has some relation to the divine) – your world view will play a big part in helping you decide what the music ‘MEANS’.
So – my question is: Where do the meanings of music lie – and how do we overcome the prejudices of our ‘methods’ to produce ‘truth’? I don’t have any definite answers to this – but am interested in ideas/responses.