Piano Interpretation: Background Accompaniment, Week #1
As we wrap up our first week of piano interpretation, I’m pleased to end on a high note and give a glimpse into next week. Today’s writing prompt features a classic by an African American singer, songwriter, and pianist – the incomparable Alicia Keys. Her song features both a meek piano and a riveting performance that gets us started early on next week’s energetic piano. Your job is to express emotions about Alicia Keys’ song, Fallin’.
Creative Idea Gal’s Thoughts
If you already know of Alicia Keys, you may have already formulated an opinion about her recent singing of the national anthem. If you’ve never heard of Alicia, it’s a good idea to watch her video performance of Fallin’. You’ll be amazed at watching her play the piano.
Here is a petite African American woman doing something that not too many others are well-known for doing – – playing a potent instrument and doing it well. It’s a rarity to hear about African Americans playing classical instruments, so this one is a treat.
Creative Idea Gal’s Emotion
My emotion for today’s song is “meek.” As you’ll see in this video performance of Fallin’, you’ll see that the luxurious baby grand piano is meant to showcase the singer and provide a rich environment for the song. Not quite. As soon as Alicis Keys starts singing, the vocals take over and they are the only thing you can focus on.
Fallin’ is intended to be a love song, but for me, it is way too dramatic and poignant to inspire me to curl up to a teddy bear. The prowess of Alicia’s voice is pretty impressive in this song. The back-up singers are fine, but I think it is Alicia who steals the show.
The meekness comes in with my perception of how the piano reacts within the song. It is not a central feature that adds pacing and melody to the song; it is a dutiful tool that provides mere musical accompaniment to the intensity of what Alicia sings and the way she sings it. The piano is as meek as a servant – – there to be just a background whisper to the large voice in the tiny package.
Tips on How to Evoke Emotion in Nonfiction Writing
- Tip #3 – Write about hot-button topics
There is a right way and a wrong way to ruffle people’s feathers. The wrong way is to make a blanket statement about a controversial issue and leave people wondering what you are talking about and why you wrote what you did. A better approach is to discuss a hot-button topic by backing it up with facts or opinion. Some people equate hot-button topics with politics. I think of hot-button topics as any topic choice that is sure to get some sort of emotional response.
In this writing prompt, I wrote an opinion of how African Americans are not very well known for playing classical instruments. I backed up my opinion with reasons. My statements may be rightfully interpreted as hot-button, which is fine. Gets people to think!
“As writers we should be interested in all sides of a story, not just our own perspective. This is also true of subjects like politics, religion and social norms. To avoid these subjects is like pretending they don’t exist.” – Renee Miller for On Fiction Writing
“Hot button issues are things that people have strong opinions about. The word “issue” is defined as “a topic or problem to be decided upon”. Not everyone agrees on the solution to problems that are controversial in nature.” – J. McKay for Daily Writing Prompt
Writing Prompt 066
Prompt: Express emotions about Alicia Keys’ song, Fallin’.
- Step 1: The song becomes more impressive if watched as a video performance. Watch it closely. Note any observations.
- Step 2: It is interesting watching the vocals rise and fall with the accompaniment of the piano. Determine whether the music style makes or breaks this song.
- Step 3: Express your emotions about this song. Determine whether the lyrics or intention of this as a love song affects your opinion.
Please be sure to leave comments about this writing prompt. We want to hear from you!
About the Author
Amanda M. Socci, J.D., is a freelance writer with 14 years of experience writing professionally. Socci currently cuts her blogging chops on her personal portfolio blog, the Creative Idea Gal blog, and on an online news site, Mount Vernon Patch. Inspired by Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction in November writing challenge, she created a unique 10-month training program for Writenonfictionnow.com and Writenonfictioninnovember.com blog visitors.
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