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If you talk "about" emotions you will almost certainly not create the experience of the emotion you are talking about for the listener. Good songs are direct experiences themselves.

If you are writing songs and performing them yourself, you must think about the distinctions between your experience and the experience of your listeners. And your experience in writing the song may be very different than the experience you create within yourself as you perform the song, which may be different in turn from the experience you radiate out as a performance, and finally that which you enable your listeners to create in themselves. (You do not "create it in them" I believe.) Each of these is a different veil of the curtain.

Then, if you're sending songs out into the world through other singers, you must consider three sets of experiences: yours; the singer's; and the listeners'.

In terms of the dynamics of a song as a "story being told" there are three other distinct roles to be considered: the "singer of the song" as character (is it an observer, a Greek chorus, or the protagonist?); the person being "sung to"; and the character that is the focus or the subject of the song. For a first person song, the "singer as character" and the "character as sung about" are fused. For a second person song, the "character as sung about" and the "sung to" are the same. (Consider, for example, Woody Guthrie's beautiful lullaby: "Go to sleep my weary hobo...") And for an introspective song, where one seemingly eavesdrops on a person singing and musing to themselves, then perhaps the singer-as-character and the sung-to fuse.

 

Comment? Use the Tag "Telling vs. Creating"

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