Music tells a story through sound.
Many kinds of stories can be told through music, drawing from the full spectrum of emotions that can arise from within us. Emotions can arise in a blink of time, such as fright in a dramatic instance of the unexpected. Emotions can also arise gradually, such as a sense of peace felt from a relatively long period of calmness.
Music has an amazing power to evoke familiar emotions. It does this not in the same way as when we revisit emotions by, for example, looking at a photo album. Music brings back familiar emotions through abstract story telling, which subconsciously reminds us of our past joys, pains, peace, or tension.
That music tells a story does not necessarily mean that it has a clear plot and cast of characters. Nor does life itself have a clear plot and a constant cast of characters. Music still tells a story, even if it has some of the same randomness that we experience every day of our lives. Music tells a story, through sound, because it reminds us of the emotions in our lives.
Musicians are story tellers, who remind the listener, and themselves, of life’s many kinds of emotions.
Think of some music you recently played, or sung, or composed. What stories were you telling?