Music has no meaning [OMS model]
From: Isaac Malitz
05.02.2008 15:51:49
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I have developed a model for music which entails that music has no meaning.

The model is called "OMS" (stands for "Organized Multi-Stimulation"). With OMS music is modeled  as  organized stimulation of the musical senses. The musical senses are thought of as a fairly large variety of "musical receptors". Each musical receptor is a small "intellectual center" which responds to music in some fairly specific way, and which operates mainly independently of other musical receptors. (These are what Marvin Minksy calls "agents" in his book The Society of Mind). The various musical receptors are only loosely coordinated. Many of them are rather primitive. For instance I would say that there is a receptor which responds to the "speech-like" or "grammatical" aspects of music.

According to OMS, music is stimulation pure and simple (it is highly-coordinated and rather intense stimulation that operates on many receptors at the same time). There are certainly receptors which are stimulated by "speech-like", "grammatical", "narrative", etc. etc. aspects of music. But this does not entail that music literally qualifies as grammar, speech, narrative, or whatever. Similarly, just because music stimulates certain kinds of (primitive) meaning receptors does not entail that music has meaning.

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-- Isaac Malitz
  [PhD Philosophy/Logic UCLA (1976)]