Music as Literature: The Point of View of a Musician

Can we consider music to be literature? What is the difference between a novel, a poem, a rap, a song, an opera, and a symphony?

Well, first of all, what is music?



Music is a universal language. Music is something that connects people all over the world, regardless of whether you're the person in the studio or the person laying in bed with earbuds on. Music is art. Music is a form of expression. Literature is also art, and it's also a form of expression. 
     Many people might not consider music as literature because it doesn't use words. Pick any song on the radio, and find the lyrics to it. Every song (with lyrics) is a poem. The poems that we typically analyze and study in school are presented to us one way, and songs are poems presented in a different way- with sounds. With notes. Written music itself is a language; not everyone can read sheet music. Similarly, not everyone can read literature in Chinese or Russian or any other foreign language. Written music is a foreign language; it's one that doesn't consist of words like most languages, but symbols. 
     Some people can read a poem and in the blink of an eye figure out the author's tone, mood... all that AP English jazz. Some people can read a story and analyze the plot, the characters, the climax.... even more AP English jazz. And typically, much of what we think of as literature has one meaning, because that's what we're taught in many English classes; the author/poet wrote this for this purpose, and this is a metaphor for that and the meaning of this piece of literature is this. We are taught to look at literature one way and usually one way only. With music, it's different. A musician reads music and paints pictures in his/her head. A musician reads music and creates a story in his/her head. A musician tells a story through notes, chord progressions, dynamics.... all that music jazz. Musicians are the best types of authors, because without words, they can create a whole new world. And that world changes depending on the person, but that's perfectly okay. 
   Music is literature. It's just a different form of literature. It is the only form of literature that is truly open to one's interpretation, and one that isn't limited to those who can read music. It's something that connects all of us one way or another. 

Sooooonnnnnggggg: What If I Stay by Chris Young. FUN FACT ABOUT YA GIRL: I go through what I call "musical phases." When I was growing up, I listened to literally everything. Rap, rock, country, pop... my music taste is everywhere now. I am currently going through a country music phase, and all I've been listening to lately has been country music. What If I Stay is one of my favorite songs at the moment.
     Last week, I went through a mariachi music phase. To be honest, if I had to pick a favorite genre, it'd be mariachi music. So even when I say I'm going through a country music phase, I know I won't be able to go a day without listening to mariachi music for at least an hour :)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fahrenheit 451: Questions I Should Be Able to Answer

What Am I Planning? 👀

An Appreciative Post