This article introduces a special issue of the British Journal of Ethnomusicology on “music and meaning”. It does so by offering some thoughts on “meaning” in the context of north Indian rāga music and by sketching the outline of an approach to musical meaning influenced by perspectives from ethnomusicology, psychological anthropology, cognitive science and cultural studies. The article proposes that all music is necessarily meaningful insofar as it offers to the perceiving subject possibilities for action and imagination, and that meaning is wholly dependent neither on semiosis nor on the apprehension of formal or structural relationships.
Clayton, M. (2001). Introduction: towards a theory of musical meaning (in India and elsewhere). In M. Clayton (Ed.), Music and Meaning: Special issue of British Journal of Ethnomusicology (1-17). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.1080/09681220108567307