music narrative

n 1-2 pages, start a “music narrative” or a personal essay that reflects on music that was important to you growing up. (Note: You’ll add another 1-2 pages for the next lab.) Consider answering the following:

  • What songs (or album or artist) were important to you growing up? Why? What did they mean to you?
  • How did theyhelp you be or become who you are?
  • What can we learn from your experience about what music in general means to us?

Some features of a non-fiction narrative usually include

  1. 1st person (meaning the writer uses “I”)
  2. Events usually (but not always) unfold in chronological order
  3. Detailed descriptions of characters and setting,especially salient details (meaning details meaningful to the story) and sensory details (include all the five senses when describing–meaning sight, sound, smell, taste, feel) that help us imagine scenes
  4. Characters are well-developed, three-dimensional characters (such as yourself and any friends or family members). Three-dimensional means they are complex characters (not just good or bad, but human in all of the complexity that implies). Usually this means that when you introduce a character, you offer a couple of choice adjectives that describe the person in a way that we can “know” them. You can also develop a character through dialogue that helps us “hear” characters and their style of communicating and personality traits. You can also “show” rather than “tell” by describing what they are doing when they say something (for example, if they are nervous about asking you out, don’t tell us they are nervous; show us by letting us know they ripped up the napkin under their coffee cup as they spoke)
  5. Scenes are ripe with details and descriptions that help us visualize a scene unfolding. When you think of a scene, think of a film: a scene is place-specific (kitchen, coffee shop, the roof of someone’s car), time-specific (is it sunrise? dusk?), includes dialogue that feels like real people talking, and sometimes has props (such as that napkin that’s torn up to show rather than tell that someone is nervous). If you put someone in a room, you likely have a scene. If no one in your story seems to be anywhere, think about adding place, time, dialogue, description, and details about setting and people.
  6. Reflection on the events as they unfold

For an example of a music narrative, click here

Actions to readKiese Laymon’s “Da Art of Storytellin’ (A Prequel).”

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