How Music and Poetry Relate
There is a strong, undeniable connection between music and poetry that has kept both of them alive for years. You may not see them at first but there are many aspects of each category that overlap. For one thing, both music and poetry have features of rhythm. Poems also have aspects of sound just like song lyrics and poetry is meant to be heard just as a song is. One can read a poem quietly, but it has more power when read aloud to other people since they can then hear the sounds that are made, and they can convey mood, feeling and tension. The same can be said for song lyrics which also have a particular sound that is used to exhibit a specific mood or feeling. The words that make up song lyrics can be happy, sad or angry; just like the sentences of a poem.
A Natural Flow and Emotion
There is a natural flow that is evident in the words of a poem and similarly in the lyrics of a song. Often times there are repetitions in both songs and poems, this is what gives them a flow and rhyme. Songs, like poetry, are often designed to tell a story and may be set in a specific time and place. With that in mind, folk lyrics are probably the easiest to compare with poems which speak about the life and times of ordinary people.
If you think of such songs as Linkin Park’s “In the end” and the “Smells like teen spirit” by Nirvana, these are rage songs which convey emotions of anger and frustration. You can also find deep emotion in the poems of Sylvia Plath. You can’t help but picture a country side and a person wandering through the woods and thinking about life, when reading Roberts Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken.” So, although they are delivered in different manners, all of them strongly impact the listener.
The connection between the two forms of expression goes deeper than just emotion and flow, and oftentimes poems are even made into songs. These kinds of songs are called lyrical poems. Another example that can be considered to be lyrical poetry is rap music. Rap music always tells a story, usually about growing up on the tough streets of the city. Rap music has rhyme and rhythm like a poem and also tends to use alliteration as a technique. With its accompanying music, rap presents a very modern form of lyrical poetry.
Music without any words can also convey emotion and mood just like a poem does. Musical instruments can play together to create a rhythm and rhyme and feeling in a way akin to that of a poem. One simply has to listen to the great classical music masters such as Beethoven and Mozart to know that this is very true. Many past festivals have combined music and poetry together since they are recognized to be so closely related and complementary art forms.