Monday, March 3, 2014

The Magic of Music

Even as a writer, words sometimes fail me. I hate it when that happens! But there is always magic in music. And the wonder of it is that this magic can be used in so many ways!

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. Victor Hugo
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. Aldous Huxley
Music can be used to match the mood, help express it. When it is impossible to find the words, but your soul cries out to be heard and understood, music is often the answer. Whatever the emotion, there are numerous songs that will fit it. It may be the melody itself; the darker notes of a minor key or the peppy movement of a dance tune. Or maybe you just don’t feel your own words are eloquent enough, yet the lyrics of a song say exactly what you want to say. There have been times in my life when I wasn’t even really sure what I was feeling, but then just the right song finds its way to my ear, and my heart knows even before my brain registers it that this is the perfect song for the moment.

Music can change the world because it can change people. Bono
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Berthold Auerbach
Music can often be used to set a mood. Think of all the movies you’ve watched in your lifetime and how the music seemed to set the stage for the scene. Artists, no matter the form of their art, often play music to get them into the mood for the piece they wish to create. Writers, too, use music in their craft; sometimes just to tune out distractions around them, but other times it helps them feel the emotion of the scene and makes it easier to find the right words.

Along the same lines of setting a mood, music can be used to change a mood as well. If you’re sad, listening to upbeat music can lift you out of those doldrums. Self-esteem taking a beating today? Try songs with inspiring lyrics. When I’m tired and just don’t have any energy, dance tunes get me moving. Feeling stressed out? Hello! Why do you think there are so many relaxation CD’s available? Feel like your life is one big rut? Ask someone who listens to a different genre of music to recommend some songs; you may find you not only break out of the rut for the moment, but you also add some new music to your own collection. So if you’re trying to change your current mood, turn on some music that fits the way you want to feel.

Without music, life would be a mistake. Friedrich Nietzsche
Music is universal. I don’t need to be able to speak the language of a song to be able to feel the emotion in it. Every generation in every nation has used music to express itself. Even nature is alive with music: the trill of a bird’s song, the rhythm of waves rolling onto the beach, the gentle sound of leaves rustling in the breeze. It is all around you – listen for it!

I thought about posting a playlist of songs that have really touched me, and maybe I will yet, but right now I’d rather hear from you. How have you used music? Is there a song that is speaking to your heart now? Do you have some go-to tunes for specific moods? Share them!

Please respect the artists and do not post links to pirated versions of the songs. Thank you.


  1. Agree fully. Creating a pasta dish will not be the same without red wine and Bocelli, much as a cook-out will not be the same without a cooler and some mellow tunes floating in the background.
    When writing, I can envision a scene better with mood music painting a picture of what I'm trying to say.


    1. That quickly you have set completely different scenes and I can imagine each. Wonderful! :-)