Piano Interpretation: Background Accompaniment, Week #1
This week, we celebrate the piano as a gentle giant – – a nonthreatening background accompaniment to popular songs with lyrics. No piano theme would be complete without a mention of the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel. Interestingly, news sources focus on Billy’s most popular hits when describing or defining his musical style. In typical fashion, I buck the perception of what is considered popular and gravitate to the obscure. Today, your job is to express emotions about Billy Joel’s obscure song, All for Leyna.
Creative Idea Gal’s Thoughts
Writing about Billy Joel was practically a no-brainer for me. I grew up listening to Billy Joel, as he was my brother’s hero for many years. My brother learned to play the piano and he imitated his idol. Since there was so much of his music playing in our house, naturally, I listened to the flip side of the popular hits. All for Leyna happened to be one of those B-side songs that I remember fondly. Listening to it to again for today’s prompt brought me new emotions.
Creative Idea Gal’s Emotion
My emotion for today’s song is “fun.” The piano in this song is joyful and carefully paced. The song is upbeat. The lyrics are meaningless to me because I like the way the instruments come together to make this a perfect pop song to sing along to. I love seeing Billy Joel’s passion in the video as he slams the piano with his hand to give the song emphasis at the right time. Despite the intent of this song, I don’t read too much seriousness into it. To me, it is pure pop fun.
Tips on How to Evoke Emotion in Nonfiction Writing
- Tip #2 – Honor and Embrace the Obscure
Once again in reference to pop culture, I must borrow from phrases I hear frequently on American Idol and Dancing With The Stars: Stop playing it safe! Nonfiction writers are afraid of offending people, afraid that their writing is not politically correct, afraid to write about a taboo topic that may tarnish their image. As a result, those writers with fears play it safe and their writing resembles an emotionless sack of potatoes that should be tossed in the ocean.
A creative way of taking risks in writing is by searching out obscure facts and information and writing about them. Illustrator Matthew Inman combines interesting facts and his own designs to breathe new life into otherwise obscure information. If it works for Matthew’s visuals, it will do wonders for your nonfiction writing!
“A very simple way to decide what to write about is to target your interests and subjects that fascinate you. When you are passionate about something, it reflects in your writing. So it’s not just the topic that matters; the manner in which you approach it, your knowledge, research, understanding of the subject, and your passion are all determinants of the final piece of writing that you produce.” – Buzzle
“Nonfiction writers must be able to find obscure information and apply it to their own work. While the Internet has made this task infinitely easier, nonfiction writers should be prepared to do research in a good library or simply by picking up a telephone and calling someone who knows a critical fact.” – Jamie Wilson for eHow
Writing Prompt 065
Prompt: Express emotions about Billy Joel’s song, All for Leyna.
- Step 1: Listening to Billy Joel’s song or, preferably, watching the video is a treat. You’ll see pure, unadulterated music played with great passion. Bank on that passion by writing about it.
- Step 2: Note how the piano playing weaves effortlessly within the guitars. Yet, the song wouldn’t be the same without the piano. Think about these things as you watch the video.
- Step 3: Express your emotions about this song. Try not to focus on the lyrics or the intent of the song.
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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