Unlike a piece of art, something which we can usually see and sometimes touch, music is arguably much less tangible. The invisibility of sound, this elusiveness, can make grasping music’s nature tricky. It also makes describing in language what we hear and listen a challenge too.
Finding words to express our own feelings and experiences of what we listen to isn’t easy. Adjectives, nouns and verbs flow when we are describing the visual scene, but in the sonic world, our own personal dictionaries often need expanding.
In addition, the listening experience is a personal experience. The words you choose to describe a musical encounter would not necessarily be those that I would use. Yet, this diversity is to be welcomed. Through the language we each choose, our own understanding and enjoyment can be shared, and the joy of music can be spread.
Notes into Letters brings the worlds of music and words together. Through commissions, tasks and activities, writers, poets and wordsmiths draw inspiration from the musical canon.
Creative writing students from Goldsmiths and the Manchester School of Writing, offer their responses to pieces from the the classical canon alongside work that has been inspired by the concert experience. In addition, some of the UK’s leading writers offer their thoughts on music and listening.