March 19, 2010 | By: Tracy

Musicians Have It Worse Than Writers

No day is ever a bad day when it starts off with a venti iced caramel latte (non-fat -- I'm being responsible), and when that day is a Friday, it's even better!

Last night, one of my best friends and I went to see Daughtry. We had awesome seats (my poor Twitter followers got a couple pic tweets, before I caught myself) and it was a kick butt show. Anyway, strangest thought occurred to me while I was listening to Lifehouse sing as one of the opening acts. I usually don't wax philosophical at concerts, mind you.

Songs are essentially synopses set to music.

From all accounts I've seen, read & heard (as well as my own personal opinions) most writers detest don't enjoy having to come up with a synopsis. We say, "How the heck am I supposed to tell the main points of the story, and still keep my 'voice'? It's impossible."  But then Tim McGraw's "Don't Take The Girl" (which makes me cry, every single time I hear it) manages to convey a powerful story about a young man's journey of love & loss, into one freakin' song.

Musicians don't get to write full stories like we do, because of time restraints. Admit it, how annoying would it be if all songs were as long as "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida".  That being said, it is no wonder so many musicians turn to drugs... if I had to write that many synopses, I might too. Thank goodness they have the ability to do that (write music, not the taking drugs part), because I don't know if I could be a writer if I didn't have music to listen to.

So that brings me to my question. Why do so many musicians date movie stars when they should be dating writers?

Okay, that wasn't really my question. Here goes: Do you need music in order to write or do you need absolute quiet? And if you need music, what do you listen to as you write? 

Personally, I'm a sucker for movie scores. Lots of emotional music, without adding extra words into my head that might throw me off.

4 witty remarks:

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I'm a musician and a writer, and I can tell you it's sooooo much easier to write a song. Song lyrics are just little snippits of life, not synopses at all. Song lyrics are written to convey an emotion, music is written to convey the emotion you want your lyrics to convey. Completely different ball game in my opinion, and completely different inspirations come with them. Songs are like the soul of written word to me. In songs, the music tells the story so much more than the lyrics do if read alone.

Tracy said...

Well that makes me feel better for them (you), because I was thinking how hard that had to be!

I'm obviously not a musician, but I was thinking how crazy it must be to have to find a way to fit all of that emotion and story-telling into so few words. Then again, I didn't take into consideration how much the music portion of the song goes into setting the emotional effect for the lyrics.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Yeah, it's not as hard as you think! :) The music composition is probably the most taxing, because you get (well I do) really frustated when you can't find that specific note that is going to really clinch the emotion. The lyrics are the easiest part. I can often have them written in ten minutes!

ModernDayDrifter said...

Personally, I have to have music playing. I like movie scores the most as well. It just depends on what type of scene I'm writing whether I want an action movie score or something a tad bit more subtle. I don't mind music with lyrics if the song isn't extremely fast paced and obnoxious. No dance music or rap..LOL. The lyrics have to be pretty meaningful too. Complete silence drives me nuts and makes me over think stuff, as odd as that sounds.

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