In her opening monologue at the 2019 Grammy Awards, host Alicia Keys acknowledged the importance of music to our lives.
“It is so exciting to be here because music is what we all love,” she said. “Music is what it’s all about. Because music is what we cry to. It’s what we march to. It’s what we rock to. It’s what we make love to. It’s our shared global language, and when you really want to say something, you say it with a song, am I right? Or am I right?”
What she forgot to mention is that music is what we write to.
Whether you are doing chores or just seated in traffic, we have found solace in music. That is why you see many of us walking around with earphones or a Bluetooth device in our ear. Because music makes it all bearable and better. The purpose of music in our daily lives varies from listening to drown out distracting noise, to using the music choice to sculpt a particular effect in a scene.
Why is music important? How does it help in your creative writing process?
At one point in their lives, people all over the world have at one point used music to improve their mood. When you are sad, you listen to an upbeat song to cheer you up. When you want to express love, you say it in a love song. Festivities are not festivities without some form of music.
For this reason alone, authors like Stephanie Meyer of the Twilight Series, have used music to focus in on a scene, story, or character.
Parag Chordia, director of the Music Intelligence Lab at Georgia Tech, reckons that music is a kind of universal language, as no culture has been found that has no language, and no culture has been found that has not had music.
Following this logic, writing a scene using music to enhance emotion/description is like using the universal language to help translate your message into something more genuine and accessible.
I asked some of my writer friends the first step in their writing process. Most of them acknowledged that they first turn on their music. Most creatives I’ve spoken to, I included, not require utter silence in order to write. In fact, they find silence distracting. Music helps you tune out everything else and focus on the writing at hand.
Have you ever listened to a piece of music that was so mesmerizing, that it tugged at your heartstrings? Some writers use music to seek inspiration for their works while others use it to facilitate their learning process. Just yesterday, my friends and I had a hard time remembering the days that make up different months. A song learnt in kindergarten helped us remember.
We are interested in knowing how music has helped you out in your creative process. Hit us up in the comments section.