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Perspectives: Words in a Song - Essay Example

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There is no songs without lyrics, and most of the emotional weight of any song is in lyrics. So we are going to discuss - how the music and lyrics are connected and we shall explore this connection…
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Perspectives: Words in a Song
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Perspectives: Words in a Song

The relationship between words and music has created a form of communication that involves combining to art forms in which the emotional content must be complimentary. Lyrics are forms of poetry, the words intending to evoke an emotional response, often specific to the intent of the author. The music is intended to frame that emotional response, creating a connection between the meaning of the words and the melody, harmony, and rhythm of the music. Most often the lyrics are written first with the music written to specifically connect the message of the words with emotions of the music; however this is not always the case. As well, in contemporary songwriting settings, often collaborative teams are developed in order to keep focus and create bodies of work that can be used in musical productions. This type of work has become a standard for many forms of contemporary music. In creating songs, lyrics and music combine to evoke specific emotions from an intent that is created from the point of view of those responsible for writing the work. One of the reasons that so many songs are about romantic relationships is because this theme provides a common emotional understanding across cultures. However, music can also create messages about many other emotional issues which can include everything from social anger or political commentary to socioeconomic distress or racial disparity. According to Paxton, “the moods or needs of a person at a particular time play a big role in the decision about what kind of music to listen to” (35). The way a person feels can be explored through choosing music that further expresses those feelings, or at other times, music will evoke an emotion that hadn’t been on the surface, but had been brewing within the depths of available emotions within. The combination of lyrics with the right musical context will allow for the evocation of powerful emotional reactions. Most often, lyrics will be written and music will then provide support for the intent of the message that is within the poetry of the lyrics. In a 1985 interview with Spin magazine, Bono from U2 discussed how much of his writing began with the music, then while in the studio he would begin to improvise lyrically over the music. He states that “a song like New Years Day was much more structured. The music was written and then I improvised melodically and lyrically over it” (Spurrier 22). The interviewer asked if this was risky and he responded by saying “Well, that has happened. There are tracks lying in studios in Dublin that are just music and no vocals. For me, at one stage, that was the only way I could work” (Spurrier 22). In this case, the musicians took their creation of music more seriously than the creation of their lyrics, although the lyrics from U2 are usually quite thought provoking. Therefore, in creating music, then creating words to enhance the emotional context of the music, they were creating first as musicians, then as poets. The relationship between music and lyrics is the combination of verbal thought and auditory stimulation. According to (textbook), “Both the words and the music emerge from this symbiotic relationship more or less concurrently” (115). When music has been written for musicals or some contemporary music, as exampled through U2, the relationship has been collaborative to the point where one element is dependent upon the production of the other, the more tangible content dependent on the way in which the music has led the writer to create that content. The two forms of communications become dependent upon one another, a work that is by definition a relationship of two art forms. As (textbook) has revealed, the music can change the message of the song if the way in which the music is experienced is emotionally changed. Collaboration of lyrics and music can require the work of two or more people. As in the example of musicals, often the music is written by writing teams, one person primarily ... Read More
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