Books, Music

In Medias Res in Music

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Book 1

 Argument: In a council of the Gods, Minerva calls their attention to Ulysses, still a wanderer.

                                                                                           -The Odyssey

             In medias res is the technique of starting a work in the middle. For example, The Odyssey begins when Ulysses is still wandering the earth after the Trojan War, skipping how he became a wanderer and jumping right into things.

In music, you might hear an in medias res beginning in multiple ways:

1) A loud, fast opening (you are right in the middle of the action!)

2) Conversely, a soft opening which increases in volume (the music slips into being, like a continuation of something that came before; it is hard to tell where the beginning actually is)

3) Jumping right into a musical idea (without any softer, slower or other introductory sounds, so the music immediately presents you with a crucial scene or idea)

Have you heard any pieces like this? Or do you know any pop music that works in this way?

1 thought on “In Medias Res in Music”

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