Inspired By Music

26 Apr

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”

My father’s family was very musical and each played some type of instrument. His mother pumped the organ with her foot as she played for Sunday church service. My sisters and I learned how to play a musical instrument in our childhood. I learned to read music to a certain degree and can still sing a mean alto.

Music can take me back to another era. About the only time I think back to my teen years is when I flip through the radio channels and hear a song from the past. A love of music really hit me then and I used to be able to tell the name of the song and the group who sang it, as well as connect it to an event that happened during the time the song had hit the top twenty charts.  I still can, but after all the years that have gone by, I draw a few blanks.

I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.”- George Eliot (1819 – 1880)

Personally, I would find it extremely hard to live without music. Music can change my mood from sad to happy. I heard this week that if you are sad, don’t listen to sad music. Also, a friend told me that her job setting is very stressful, so she listens to Adele to get her in an upbeat mood. Music energizes and inspires me when working and helps me relax when needed, but I’m sure many people use music to set the mood for the task in front of them. I’m learning that listening to music for inspiration is not just for writers.  Listening to music helps visualize where you want to go, whether you are an artist, a web designer, clothes designer, an inventor or writer.  My number one writing tool is music.

Movies use a soundtrack to enhance the visual and the script, to create or develop a mood. Ballets use music in combination with visual cues of movement, make-up, costumes, or props to set the mood. They create a story without words, which goes outside of the box of normal storytelling methods and relies on other senses and tactics to let the story be told for them.

Music and Visuals are the perfect combination. Relying on senses other than your vision can evoke a greater comprehension for what feeling must be conveyed through your work. But maybe the best type of advice would be to use music that your end buyers could relate to while designing a website, writing a book, painting a picture or doing something creative.

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein also said that he was nourished by music, particularly Mozart. It was at the core of his creative life. I wish I had a broad taste in music, from very classic, to very minimal, to alternative, country to pop, but I’m not wired that way. Not every type of music or beat draws me, some I literally don’t even hear.  I used to think that an appreciation for all types of music shows intelligence, but certainly that’s not always true.

While writing Maya’s Gold, I listened to a Jim Brickman album that included a Martina McBride hit called, My Valentine.  When I wrote A Place to Land, I enjoyed country music. For Wanting Moore, I listened to the Eagles and Lady Antebellum. Of course it was not only the phrases that may have given me ponder, but the mood I felt when taking it in. Recently, Whitney Houston’s Run To You, made me sit up and take notice. Look at these lyrics:

…Each day, each day I play the role
Of someone always in control
But at night I come home and turn the key
There’s nobody there, no one cares for me
What’s the sense of trying hard to find your dreams
Without someone to share it with
Tell me what does it mean?

For me, add in the tune to the words, plus Whitney’s passion while singing and the combo really gets the wheels turning in my brain for story thoughts and ideas. If I’m not mistaken, a few of you remember this song and it’s got you thinking story ideas, too.

“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
Kurt Vonnegut


Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Idaho


11 responses to “Inspired By Music

  1. Liz Fredericks

    April 26, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    This is beautiful, Mary. I am not knowledgeable about music but do appreciate all of it – except maybe hip hop – no, that’s not right. Even some hip hop is catchy and spicy and gets my creative adrenalin in gear. Today, it’s rainy outside. The grass is too long to cut cuz I waited too long to cut it. And, thankfully, your blog reminded me of a ‘cure for the rainy day blues’. Get it . . . I actually used a title or at least a phrase. I’m pretty sure . . . I think . . . could you confirm? 😉

    • Mary Vine

      April 26, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      Confirmed 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Liz!

  2. Meredith Allen Conner

    April 26, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    I get inspired for all sorts of stories when I hear certain songs. I can’t play an instrument and my family will frequently ask me to stop singing – in fact, even as babies my girls would put their fingers over my lips to get me to stop singing lullabies to them – however, I sing my heart out in the car when I’m alone. I am terrible at re-writes, but if I plus myself into music, I can re-write and edit like crazy.

    • Mary Vine

      April 26, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      I’m glad you sing your heart out anyway! Now, don’t forget that you need music for those edits.

  3. Janis McCurry

    April 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    My sisters and I can break into song at a moment’s notice. Once, we worked at the same place and, oh my, at Christmas time, we’d break into song. The other staff thought we were bonkers. And, our “Hey Jude” in the kitchen of the restaurant where we worked is LEGEND!

    The only other person I’ve found that will do it with me is Lynn. Of course, our writer friends are then the ones who look at us like we’re crazy. 🙂

    • Mary Vine

      April 26, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      That’s a wonderful thing that you and your sisters sing together-and Lynn, too. I don’t even think I know all the words to “Hey Jude.”

  4. ramblingsfromtheleft

    April 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    OMG, Mary !! You have walked in my soul and touched my heart of hearts. I love music and believe it is the true origin of the muse, the food for the poet, the base for the novel and the strength I need to continue. On a lighter note, I have instructed my kids to play Second Hand News, by Fleetwood Mac at my funeral. What a kick that will be 🙂 Just for kicks I am pasting the link on youtube. It is so me !! Enjoy:

  5. Mary Vine

    April 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Thanks for the song. It has a great beat to it. I like how you stated, “…the true origin of the muse, the food for the poet, the base for the novel and the strength I need to continue.” Beautiful. Thanks!

  6. Lynn Mapp

    April 29, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    I love music
    any kind of music

    These are lines from a song. Music has a way of touching our souls.

  7. Peggy Staggs

    April 30, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    There is symmetry in music. No matter if it makes you laugh or cry, dance or meditate it creates mood and brings back memories or makes new ones. Unfortunately I can’t dance, and I can’t sing, but I can listen.


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