The Novelry Blog

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What's the Connection Between Music and Writing? Jun 09, 2019

"It really is a very odd business that all of us, to varying degrees, have music in our heads." Oliver Sacks.

In Musicophilia, Sacks tells some very moving stories about those with terrifyingly profound amnesia, or Alzheimer's disease, for whom music can "restore them to themselves".  He claimed that music may be our best medicine.

I've often wondered about the connection between music and writing. Many of my writers use music, as do I, to enter the right mood for a piece of prose.

Oliver Sacks described as "amusic", those who do not seem to understand or feel music at all in his book Musicophilia. He considered with pity the case of Vladimir Nabokov, who famously said he experienced music merely as "an arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"; and he wondered about how little music is mentioned in Henry James's work.

What are the mysterious connections between the two arts?

If there's an order of merit, many writers would accord first place...

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