SubatomicAl1en wrote:Visual art tends to be easier to express thought in my opinion.
All art forms carry form and content, and both of this are carriers of meaning. But this is also true for a newspaper or a scientific article, and perhaps they're more effective in expressing ideas unambiguously, so it doesn't look like expressing clear ideas is the main function of art, or what makes it distinct from any other human expression. It is on this basis that I find plausible criticism of contemporary conceptual art, many times focused on sending a message requiring very little interpretation effort. In any case, under the modern conception of art, at least high-end art, understood as a autonomous practice with its own ethos, the link between expression and serving other non-artistic purposes (including the communication of semantic contents) is almost completely broken, unlike ancient and medieval times, where art was subordinate to other practices, especially religious ones. Paintings and sculptures in cathedrals, for example, were meant to illustrate the gospels to the illiterate masses.
The distinctive feature of art lies not in content, but in form. Content, as per the author's intentions, can even be lost in time, or evolve along with culture and produce new interpretations, while the form prevails in the public's experience of the artistic object. And the most relevant contribution of form to such experience is the aesthetic dimension, which blends an intellectual response with an emotional one, in different degrees. So even when we experience an artistic object exclusively for the emotional response we obtain from it, it is almost impossible to disconnect ourselves from the "how it is made" that allows such response.
When you listen to songs, the information passed through is mainly expressed by lyrics instead of the melody.
Some people might do that, but I'm not one among them. I often pay less attention to lyrics than to musical ideas, in other words, I care more about form than about content.
When you listen to lyric-less music, what it expresses is more emotion than information.
Again, information can be comprised of both content and form. Although it is widely accepted that from all art forms, music is the one that most appeals to our emotions, in other words, creates an emotional response, not necessarily that means that it represents, in its content and form, emotions. Music from the European romantic period (19th century) is often regarded as an artistic program that avidly sought representation of emotions and producing such effects in the public. It is also widely accepted that today's western popular music is a heir to that tradition. But not necessarily it has to be that way, there are other artistic programs that look to distance themselves from that tradition, for example, dodecaphonism, which explicitly avoided the comfort zones of tonality and the responses associated to it.