Music, cadence and writing

My son Edward, a composer, sent me a cryptic note:

Great article about two of my favorite things…. music and Vin Scully.

The article is about the Dodgers’ legendary announcer. Professors at USC’s music school studied why Scully’s lines were so memorable, why so many people remember them verbatim. I’ll hope you watch the video embedded in the article and see why those lines work so well.  But, a spoiler: Screenshot 2016-04-04 23.40.10music.

Not surprising, really. A wordless tune is appealing to us in many ways, one of the most important being cadence. Songs lay words over melody and cadence, and a great prose passage pays attention to cadence.

I’ve always thought that great story tellers lean heavily on cadence … we almost hear the music as they speak. A good reason to read one’s work aloud.

1 thought on “Music, cadence and writing

  1. I had the privilege of growing up in L.A. and hearing the great voices of Vin Scully and Chick Hearn (Lakers announcer). I heard a few of the announcers from around the country. Some were colorful; some were annoying. Scully was the best of the best. He actually had a rather strange, nasal voice, but it was articulate, mellifluous, sonorous, consistently clever, and eminently fair. I was never a big fan of watching or listening to sports, but Scully was different. The game could be utterly uneventful or inconsequential, but it was still great fun to listen to that unique delivery and perspective. The article was interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    We wish you and yours a very pleasant holiday season and a great new year.

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