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Poetry and music

Poetry and music

Originally, poetry and music were one of the same.  The composition of the words would help generate the rhythm of the piece and therefore the tone.  For example if you were to write something upbeat and positive then short sharp words would execute the piece quickly.  If you were writing something mournful then it would be the opposite.  Unfortunately in the fabric of history musical relics are scarce, excluding classical music.  So we are left with just the words.  However reading the antiquities that have been left behind, we can piece together their purpose and deduce that music and poetry do indeed go together.  It’s a known fact that Ancient Greeks considered to two as one.  A lot has changed since ancient times and both music and poetry have established their own independence.  Poets would have written their work without taking music into consideration.  Moving through history, say the Renaissance, sonnets and poems were rife.  They were composed but not in a musical sense.

Interestingly, in contemporary society and culture, music is big business for many artists.  Music today carries more associates than just music.  Today music could mean fame and fame means money.  The consumer, your everyday listener is more likely to remember a song lyric than a poem.  The reasons for this are numerous.  It could be because the listener enjoys the song; it could be that they have been bombarded with the sound in their surroundings, through the radio, in shops, the internet and even the television.  Ironically this is why the phrase “I can’t seem to get that song out of my head” has been coined.  Music has a number of genres but is no less human than poetry.  It does indeed come from the mind of a person.  Since the birth of literature, if you look through history; music and poetry are very similar in many ways but their origins differ.  In Medieval literature poems were crafted through grammar and rhetoric.  Whereas music started from science and maths, this is because beats per minute were taken into account more with music than with poetry.  Poetry comprises more of a representation of reality.  The language of music is more abstract and separate from that of words.  Steering away from the original and constructive differences; repetition, pulse, rhythm, accent, sequence and dramatic climax are common features present in the two art forms.

Unless you look at the two art forms under a microscope and strip down the two to its bare bones the similarities and differences are not always immediately obvious to the audience.

To purchase one of Denny’s books please click on the images below or contact Denny directly at email denisebradbury@btinternet.com.
The Reunion Denagerie of Poems by Denny Bradbury

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