Music has been a fundamental constituent of human life since our earliest civilisations. Right. Of course. We all know that. It’s one of the most beautiful elements of humanity. Music is an expression of our soul, our community, our faith, family, emotions, and individual stories.
Music is one of the greatest methods of interpretation for our stories–the stories of human-kind–we will ever have the privilege of expressing. If there’s one thing I can admit to having a higher admiration for, above a Storyteller of Books, it is a Storyteller of Songs.
And not simply songs based on one person’s single thought or opinion. I’m talking about songs the Storyteller encases in the richness of soul that can be shared and understood by everyone; a deliberate, delicate, passionate weaving of music and lyrics. The song that, in both heart and structure, is a story travelling a road uniquely laid in a collage of trills and clefs, notes and tones, accents and verses, rhythm and tempo–to touch us and take us up to a level mere words cannot attain on their own.
I humbly gaze in awe at the masters of both music and tale. Songs that tell a story with heartfelt emotion, conviction and excellence of expression are difficult to create. As a writer of novels, I find it hard enough to tell a story successfully even with thousands of words at my disposal. I can only imagine the skill required to successfully do the same, using only a few verses, a chorus, a bridge or two, and possibly a tag. Incredible! Each and every word must count. And not only count, but hold enough power to carry imagery to a plane of thought thousands can reach and interpret without difficulty.
And then there’s the musical notation. The choice of rhythm, key, pace, pitch, as well as instruments, layer placements, length, style, and tone. What incredible skill and dedication it is, to extend oneself into multiple talents to birth something that exists within the span of 3-4 minutes (on average), yet seeds itself in the hearts and minds of many, to be remembered and enjoyed for days, sometimes years, and even centuries. That is a gift worthy of great applaud and respect. That is a gift worth celebrating, always.
The next time you listen to a piece from a Storyteller of Song, listen closely. A story’s summery can be understood well enough the first time it is heard. But the more you listen, the more you will find.
I encourage you to listen to those stories of music and prose with a greater, more open-minded attention. Uncover the richness found in their depths. And appreciate the brilliance of such a creation.
Music and words. Mankind’s greatest expressions.
What are some of your favourite songs? Do they tell a full story? Or do they strum a chord in your soul attached to a story of your own? A memory, perhaps? Or a dream?