The Power of Music in Storytelling

Photo Source I have always loved music. My idea of a day well spent includes an hour to myself with some soft music, followed by a good book. And then there are days when a combination of both makes it just perfect. Musical storytelling takes the cake, and how! Stories are known to engage all senses in humans. The more senses that are affected, the more people will relate to your story and take it forward. To achieve and realise the greatest good in storytelling, a deeper connect is required with people, a kind of a more personal message – something that makes people recall your idea as their own and be touched by it. Music as an art form is ever evolving. It not only helps change people’s moods and ideas, but also influences their choices and behaviour. The average human brain relies deeply on emotions than intellect in decision making and music is known to activate the very area of the brain that stimulates emotional feeling. Musical storytelling is simply an attempt at illustration through music, without the use of words. As much difficult as it sounds, it is the fastest and simplest way to convey the message that goes straight to the heart. In fact, The Indian Cinema has adopted this most effective way to connect as its cinematic language and by and large every film produced in India is a musical. The Lion King is perhaps the highest grossing Broadway production till date and enjoys the distinction of being the most popular musical. What makes The Lion King the musical most popular among the audiences? It has added more songs to the play from the movie which adds more vibrancy and zest to the play. All actors wear animal costumes and move in a synchronised manner that seem both real and excitable to children. The Sound of Music and the Beauty and the Beast belong to the same genre and are iconic in their reach. These musicals have been popular across the world with multiple productions spanning over three decades. Closer home the Indian production of Beauty and the Beast made its debut in Oct-2015 to packed houses. A completely local setting with Indian actors made the musical, more accessible to Indian audiences. Have you ever attended a live musical in India or abroad? Do write to us with your experience. We at Kahaani festival recognise the reach of musicals in affecting children’s imagination and that is why so many of our storytellers will be using music as a tool to share their stories. So, the melange of music and stories will be creating some wonderful musicals for the children to take back home some great memories of the festival.   - Milind Gandhi