A Single Note

Recently I was told by my English professor that my writing was very lyrical, even in the average paper I’ll write. In her words, I haven’t figured out the difference between a song and a story.

This led me to wonder… what is the difference? It seems these two art forms are incredibly inter-related. My entire novel is based on a song I heard in a particular place and time, and whenever I hear that song again I am transported back into the world that triggered my novel.

The same thing happened for the most recent paper I wrote for Comp. I had to read the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and then write a 5 page paper on it. Because I’m a procrastinator, I read the book in its entirety two nights before the paper was due. As I read, I listened to an entire playlist by the band Kutless. The next night, as I sat down to write my paper with no ideas written down and nothing but my (probably incomplete) memory of the book. I turned on the same music, though, and suddenly all of the ideas that had flowed through my head while reading seemed to just fall onto my blank word document. (The 5 page paper became a 7 page paper and received an A, by the way).

So are these two art forms- music and writing- this closely related for anyone else? Without music I could not write. It’s that simple.

Without being able to run to the piano and pound out a melody- sad, angry, lively, slow, sweet, happy, simple, complex, whatever- I would never be able to release a lot of the emotions that I am then able to put into words.

Music can express without a single word what I cannot express in a thousand.

What really struck me was the music I was listening to today- the Lord of the Rings piano cover by The Piano Guys (yes, that is a real group; if you’ve never heard them, look them up now!).

Anyway, in six minutes they expressed what it had taken J. R. R. Tolkien 3 huge volumes to tell. That being said, Tolkien was kind of the master of fantasy, as well as a creator of exceptional characters. He created an entire language. I’m not dissing him at all- in fact, I was kind of depressed considering that there is no way my writing will ever come close to his.

A single note of music can say more than I will ever be able to say, no matter how long or how well I write.

What is it about music? Does anyone else feel this way?

Or maybe it’s just me rambling again… (:


6 thoughts on “A Single Note

  1. I agree, Mary! Music has so many emotions…I don’t know what it is about it, but it is just so soothing……It is hard to put it into words. πŸ™‚ God was so good in giving us the ability to produce music! Thank You Lord!!! πŸ™‚
    Now I want to go play an instrument….My brother is playing the guitar right now…I have noticed that it can be contagious! πŸ™‚
    God bless your evening!! πŸ™‚

    1. I agree- God is really, really good. I love music. I want to say there will be a lot of in it heaven, and I’m not talking the harps-angels-clouds stuff some people picture. I’m talking like “The Piano Guys,” but a million times better, which is saying a lot.
      Do you play an instrument? You’re absolutely right, music is so contagious!(: Have a good night dear!

      1. Oh haha! Ford some reason I just was looking at this again and realized that you had replied to my comment! πŸ™‚ You know about The Piano Guys?!?! WOOHOO! I absolutely love The Piano Guys! That is so neat that you have heard them……an inspiration to me to play the cello. πŸ™‚ I listen to The Piano Guys on Youtube almost everytime I get onto the interent, haha! πŸ™‚ Anyway, just thought that was really neat. πŸ™‚

  2. “You haven’t figured out the difference between a song and a story” sounds like one of the loveliest compliments to me. I sometimes make playlists while I write to set the mood for my scenes. I have a soundtrack for my novel even. πŸ™‚

    1. It definitely was the coolest compliment (and it was from my favorite teacher of all time, so that made it pretty sweet, too).
      I do the same thing! Each novel I have written, since I wrote a reallllyyy lame historical fiction at the age of 11, has music to accompany it.
      What music/artists particularly seem to inspire you to write?

      1. I love soundtrack music WHILE I write (sometimes lyrics distract me, but not always). So I love listening to music written by Carter Burwell, Nicholas Hooper, Harry Gregson-Williams. πŸ™‚

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