Jump to content

Welcome to Christian Writers!

We are a friendly community built around Christian writing, publishing, reading and fellowship. Register or sign in today to join in the fun!
SpecFictionGuy

Show vs Tell In Description of Music

Recommended Posts

How do I go about describing music as “the music relayed a loss followed by deep sadness and resolved in the end to a hint of longing?”  I’d like to show this rather than doing the above telling. 

 

There must be a way to do this without having a music degree or requiring one of the reader. (I’m writing a YA book)

 

Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is hearing the music? How are they reacting to it? This is interesting. Will try to think on this and get back to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, SpecFictionGuy said:

How do I go about describing music as “the music relayed a loss followed by deep sadness and resolved in the end to a hint of longing?”  I’d like to show this rather than doing the above telling. 

 

I actually like the way you've said it. Beautifully written in my opinion! I, too, will watch to see what others suggest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, SpecFictionGuy said:

I’d like to show this rather than doing the above telling

This sounds tricky. But I'd say talk about how it makes the listening character feel personally rather than talking about what the music is relaying itself. Maybe even connect it to a character flashback/memory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the whole "show, don't tell" idea is a wonderful helper, but a terrible master. If we mistake the useful advice it is, and turn it into an ironclad law, it probably becomes less useful than it could be. If it helps, perhaps rethink it as, "show when you can, tell when you have to, and then get on with the writing..."

 

I think that captures the real intent of the idea, without going too far. FWIW, i think that telling something like the way you've suggested would be very effective.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, SpecFictionGuy said:

“the music relayed a loss followed by deep sadness and resolved in the end to a hint of longing?”

 

I like what you have here. Maybe take it apart and "drop" each segment on the character and see how s/he responds.

 

*the music relayed a loss

*deep sadness

*resolved in the end

*hint of longing

 

* tears/wave of sadness/staring out a window/ in a dark room/takes a walk at midnight/ longing for those old times

*things like that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the music a person singing with instruments or just an instrument? I can't "hear" it without that information, but your words do evoke lots of "feels," as the teens say, otherwise known as emotions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may also be helpful to think how the music relays loss or sadness or longing. What kind of and how many instruments are playing? Are the notes high or low, long or short? Is the music fast or slow?

 

There are certain instruments that I associate with sadness (violins, bagpipes). Minor notes tend to sound more melancholy. In addition, the verbs you use in relation to the playing of the instrument change the feel. For example: "the pianist's fingers danced across the keys" feels very different from "the violin wailed a low, mournful note."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Love said:

Is the music a person singing with instruments or just an instrument? 

The person is playing a futuristic double guitar. No singing involved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@SpecFictionGuyWith a guitar, one hand strums the strings and the other presses the chords. I watched an acoustic guitar player on YouTube. So you could say, each strum of the guitar relayed a loss or each guitar chord relayed a loss . . . Personally, I like strum because it sounds like hum and I "hear" it much more than chord. 

 

I figured out how to make a highlighted blue name!!! I'm learning. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/23/2020 at 3:25 PM, SpecFictionGuy said:

How do I go about describing music as “the music relayed a loss followed by deep sadness and resolved in the end to a hint of longing?”

 

Most music that hits those noted runs soft, low, slow, sonorous, and "end on an unresolved, unanswered chord."

 

Sometimes music is like a conversation, one note or chord progression is played, another answers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.