A Wordless Melody
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A Wordless Melody

How piano music can tell a story.

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Photo by Finn Gross Maurer on Unsplash

Hide behind the ivory keys

Read the notes between the lines

And begin the wordless melody

By typing out the lover's lives.

Introductions aside

You make the action rise

On lettered keys

That the signature binds

Translating transitions

Cutting ties in cut time.

Approaching the climax the pace quickens

The tempo increases as the plot thickens

A crescendo builds a dynamic shift

A measured journey towards a dramatic cliff.

As the action falls,

The pace stalls,

And we repeat beginning themes.

Plucking out the closing chords

You reach with open hand towards

The author's final words

Though the tone is all that's heard.


I have played piano since I was seven, and I took weekly lessons for eleven years. After graduating from high school, I stopped taking lessons and playing as frequently. However, I have recently gotten back into playing, hence the original inspiration to write this poem. While I have always appreciated playing the piano as an art form, I did not always necessarily consider it to be as expressive or dramatic as literature or theater. However, I now recognize that every piece is like a story with an introduction, rising actions, climax, falling action, and resolution. Without words, the composer writes his story with notes and rhythms, while dynamics and tempo changes give drama and emotion to the piece. This is the equivalent of an author using figurative language or diction to drive the plot while eliciting an emotional response. My initial inspiration for the structure of the poem came from a few phrases that I realized could apply to both literature and music. For instance, "Introductions aside" could refer to a literal introduction between two individuals at the beginning of a story or a musical introduction at the beginning of a piece. I think this poem highlights and demonstrates the inherent similarities across art forms, particularly piano music and literature.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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