Regular readers will have noticed that I like to draw on the ideas of Leonard B. Meyer when I think about music. I was first introduced to his work in my first year at university, and it had quite a big impact on me, as it was my first real encounter with the act of theorising music. Hitherto most of the writing about music I had seen simply described what was going on, whereas this introduced me to the possibilities of explaining it.
(This early encounter also provided the occasion for possibly the most useful thing anyone ever said to me during my education. My tutor, Alan Rump, had sent me away to read some Meyer, and I came back saying tentatively that I found it very interesting but wasn’t sure that I agreed with it. ‘Good God, woman,’ he roared, ‘You’re not supposed to agree with books, you’re supposed to think about them.’)
Anyway, some recent listening experiences got me thinking about his implication-realisation model of musical meaning again.