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5: Song

  • Page ID
    90702
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    Song is perhaps the most familiar and universal form of musical storytelling. Unlike opera, it does not require a large space, costumes, or staging. It can be collaborative, but is often performed by a single person. It is also compelling, for we generally get a great deal of pleasure out of using our imaginations to visualize the characters and events of a story. In many times and places, in fact, song and storytelling have been considered inseparable: The storyteller could not imagine communicating through any means other than music.

    The purpose of song, of course, is not always to tell stories. Many songs present philosophical ideas, or describe scenes, or support worship, or encourage dancing. In this chapter, however, we will focus on songs—and collections of songs—that outline clear narratives, and we will examine ways in which the music helps to communicate the story. As we will see, it can do this in many ways.


    This page titled 5: Song is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Esther M. Morgan-Ellis with Contributing Authors (University of North Georgia Press) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.