It is hard to imagine a world without music, though many live in a musicless world by choice or circumstance.
Sound is one of the five senses, and important to use to draw readers into the story.
“The sounds of the earth are like music” – Rogers and Hammerstein, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” Oklahoma.
Music is so much more than just sound. In my book, Archer’s Grace, set in AD 1224, Ireland, music is vital to learning in a world of high illiteracy. Then as now music conveyed stories, lessons and of course like today’s ads and jingles, was a repetitive tool in memory. Music was also medicine. Not only does my protagonist use song to remember healing and remedies, she is comforted by the memory of her mother’s teachings. While treating the injured or sick, her singing not only soothes herself, but her patients. Music is medicine.
Racing across Ireland, pursued by killers, Eloise and Roland sing to relieve the aches of hard travel, fatigue and strain. Religious songs, nursery tales, drinking songs and more. Spoiler Alert! – Roland has an awakening to the erotic pleasure of truly singing.
Inspired by the epic tales of her Irish home and the rousing songs of the Pilgrims (now known as Crusaders) Eloise is also compelled to write songs commemorating the events of this journey across the island.
In Book Two (still being written) music is not only medicine but may become a tool of exploitation and source of jealousy. What if Eloise can never sing again? More songs are being written and more research – okay a bit of a rabbit hole, but a fun one! – is being done.
I have fun penning the songs she creates. I usually have medieval music playing in the background when I write. For a hint, my YouTube page is full of great medieval music, with more being shared almost daily. I also have a HUGE collection of cds, with a photo of 6 favorites.
Then as now, people loved music. They loved to sing, play and dance. They wanted to be entertained and educated. Swept away in love and lust or exalted in religious rapture. Fighting songs, drinking songs, love songs, songs of enchantment or sorrow. Most of the content is timeless-and some of it misogynistic and degrading. Still, we are singing the same things today, different instruments and sounds, but the same desires and longings, anguish and despair, whether Country Western, Rhythm and Blues, Rap, Hip Hop, Rock and more. Humans express themselves through music; feel themselves through music like no other art form, because music is vibration and can be felt.
I would love to hear your thoughts on music. What books do you enjoy that come with a soundtrack? Books that have music, introduce you to new music, make you want to learn more. And please, by your will, join me in Dahlquin where Anything is Possible in the Saddle IF You are Willing to Be You Own Hero, and Music is Medicine.
You can find my book here.
Anne M. Beggs writes adventure romance and family saga set in Medieval Ireland. She is a member of Paper Lantern Writers and Historical Novel Society. For about her books, mounted archery, and horses, please contact her on Facebook or Instagram @annitbella72