Music in Notes – an introduction

So today is Monday the 16th of July, and it’s a beautiful day for the soft launch of Music in Notes.

You’re probably wondering what a “soft Launch” is. Probably unbeknownst to the majority of readers of There Goes the Fear, my day job is in publications. And a soft launch in the publishing world is like tooting your horn about something new that you want everyone to know about, even if only you’re tooting the horn a bit softly. So I can explain what this site is and what can you can expect in the coming weeks.

Several names came into mind, but the one that I decided to stick with works nicely, as Music in Notes takes on more than one meaning, which is what this site is all about. My initial intention was simply to discuss the lyrics of popular songs, in a Cliff Notes kind of style. What became obvious after the more I thought about the name Music in Notes was that the actual notes played – how they are played and by what instruments – can also serve to affect the meaning and feeling to a song. I took piano lessons for many years as a child but 2 years to this week after returning from Roskilde 2010, I took up bass guitar. Both instruments, plus my background in singing in school choir, contribute to the way I view songs, and I think it will become most evident in future articles just how this combined musical knowledge affects the way I view songs and their meanings.

New song analysis will, for the most part, be posted on Tuesdays. Why Tuesday? Well, I imagine most of you are heading back to school and work on Monday mornings. If your work is anything like mine, Monday mornings are a complete nightmare: you’re addressing things that weren’t finished from the week before, dealing with requests and complaints received over the weekend, and Monday’s just not the right time for some serious contemplation. My hope is that Tuesday will come along and you will read my thoughts on the song chosen for that week with an open mind and maybe even a little “hmm, I never thought of it like that!” Other weekly and fortnightly features will roll out as this site evolves.

All that aside, I do wish to emphasise that these are my personal thoughts on the meaning of these songs that I present to you, and I welcome everyone’s thoughtful comments. Unless specifically noted, I do not and will not know the original intention of a song’s words. Only the man or woman who has written the lyrics know that. Most songwriters tend to be pretty private about what inspires them, and with good reason: despite what you’ve seen with the manufacturing of pop stars, more often that not, the words to songs are incredibly personal. What you hear on the radio, in a music video, or even in a telly advert or in a film soundtrack…is someone’s labour of love. The written word, whether in poem form or put into song, should be cherished for the art that it is.

Songs that have meant so much to me over the years – the ones that bring tears to my eyes and make me fall to my knees, elicit unbridled joy to my heart so much I can feel it singing, or just simply make me remember a specific time or place – they are the ones I plan to profile here at Music in Notes. I hope you enjoy my “journey” of examining song lyrics with a magnifying glass, a fine-toothed comb and an open, romantic heart. And maybe, just maybe, Music in Notes will have inspired you to start looking closer to your favourite songs to gain a better appreciation for what they mean. To you.

Mary x

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