Dave Wolf wrote:
>... Still, there are enough examples of young or otherwise
>naive listeners whose perception of a given passage does not fit the
>conventional view to indicate that if music has meaning, it's assigned
>by convention, not intrinsic, or maybe only vaguely intrinsic. (I keep
>seeing the counter-argument that a sprightly passage from, say, a Vivaldi
>violin concerto, would rarely be called dismal.)
There comes a point in the consideration of music as a language when
you have to wonder whether it is worth pursuing. It is abundantly
clear that music communicates, but it cannot approach spoken and written
language in terms of precision and specificity. Far more fruitful at
some point to take music as a separate art, a unique way of communicating
emotion and structure.
As a language music is fuzzy and imprecise, as Dave's examples indicate.
To think of music as a language is to deny its nature and its unique
expressive power. There is no denying that music, painting, literature
can form rich connections, but that occurs precisely because they bring
different strengths to the mix.