Originally Posted by larryace
It's both. It's what is being said (not song, right?) AND how it's being said.
For instance, 2 exact lines, delivered differently will have different meanings.
As a drummer, I play to the meaning, not necessarily the words. You can't know the meaning if you don't listen and understand the words, and more importantly, the delivery.
This doesn't mean I play to every single word in a song. That's re-diculous. Like during a shuffle, you just have to keep the shuffle feel going. However, when the opportunity presents itself to decorate a lyric with some little, musically clever idea, I want to be Johnny on the spot with it.
Ok, but the meaning isn't often important to me. My wife plays Italian pop tunes and I have very little idea what the heck they're sayin' but I enjoy it anyway. And Latin stuff sung in spanish - no clue - but it grooves and I can get into it.