Thursday, February 7, 2013

Musing on Music



Words – They evoke tears and laughter. They can trigger memories or flights of fancy.  Authors turn their words into poems, create living scenes in the minds of readers with prose, and sometimes pair their words with a tune to create a song.  And that is the topic of today’s musings – writers and music. Depending on the author, music can creep into their works in various ways. For myself one way is to listen to music while writing. Celtic flute tunes take the brain to fantasy worlds of imagination. Other genres require a different music. Civil War tunes such as the "Ashokan Farewell" and movie themes aid the creation of historical westerns.

Sometimes an author will create a character with music in their life. In the Windmaster series, Ellspeth, Captain of the Sea Falcon, was a talented composer and flutist. Both music and captaincy required total dedication and a lifetime to learn. When her two abilities fought to control her destiny, Ellspeth had to choose between music and her ship. She chose to make her life on blue water. In this case, music added to the characterization and made Ellspeth more real.

Songs or song lyrics can stir more than the creative soul. Other uses are to set the scene, bring attention to a boil or send a reader’s pulse racing. To minimize concerns about infringing on another author's copyright, as a rule I don’t use song lyrics in my stories. You might think that would eliminate music in my works. Wrong. Many authors can create in more than one form. We just create our own lyrics. When “Ireland's Call” by Celtic Thunder refused to leave my head, I knew my muse was sending me a message and I wrote appropriately. Despite the passage of a year, when I read the scene in Dragon Destiny where the "Battle Hymn of the Seidheirn” saves lives of man and animal, the words I wrote still echo in my head to the tune that summoned men to fight for Ireland.

I’ve revealed some ways music and one writer meet. Leave a comment with a song that stirs your muse or how you use songs in your works.

Thanks for joining me. Until next time. ~Helen

The works of multi-published author Helen Henderson crosses genres from historical adventures and westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the realm of fantasy, she authored the Dragshi Chronicles and the Windmaster series. Join her on journeys through the stars, back to the past, or among fantasy worlds of the imagination. First stop: www.helenhenderson-author.webs.com.








2 comments:

Big Mike said...

I create to New Age and lite jazz, always playing in the background. Also use music inside the story to amplify a scene. Case in point, in SHADOW of GUILT, after the first coupling of H and H, had 'em playing Taquilla on Ice while she cooked breakfast in his T shirt. Then again in WHISPERS OF INNOCENCE when the hero explained his emotions as they played "Don't take the girl" on the car radio.

Yeap, music affects our muse inside and outside the story.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)



Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I agree, but am not inspired by background music. The music hums in my head while I see the scene as a movie. In one of my early works, The World, the Flesh and the Devil, I played a whole song, written in 1904: "Sing me to Sleep." It was the theme for the lovers and their signal to to meet.

No, I'm not that old, but my very old grandmother had the sheet music in her piano bench. I sang it while taking lessons, and never forgot the words or the tune.