24 Music Writing Prompts

Music Writing Prompts

Music is so powerful – it can make us feel all sorts of things, tell amazing stories, and bring people together.

Whether you love to write or just like to jot down some thoughts, these music prompts will help you think about cool new stuff.

We’ve got all kinds of prompts here, from how music affects your own life to the nitty-gritty of what makes a song tick.

So find a comfy spot, get ready to let your ideas flow, and let’s dive into some music-inspired writing!

24 Music Writing Prompts

  1. The Sounds of the City: Cities are alive with a rich cacophony of sounds that can provide wonderful inspiration for music. Capture the essence of a city you’re familiar with or fascinated by, translating its hustle and bustle, its tranquility, or its unique sonic signatures into a piece of music. This could include the melodies of its languages, the rhythms of its traffic, or the ambient sounds of its iconic landmarks.

  2. Music as Time Travel: Consider a historical event that moves you – it can be something as grand as the signing of a peace treaty or as simple as an average day in a 19th-century village. Compose a piece that transports the listener to that time and place, reflecting the emotions, atmosphere, and cultural nuances of the period. Incorporate musical styles and instruments that were popular at the time to make the experience more authentic.

  3. The Melody of a Memory: Think about a profound memory from your life, something that brings forth strong emotions, and create a piece of music that narrates the story of that memory. This could be a happy childhood event, a difficult challenge you overcame, or even a seemingly mundane day that holds special significance to you. Try to make the music evoke the same emotions that the memory does.

  4. Musical Portraits: Choose a person who is significant in your life, it could be a family member, friend, or even a public figure you admire. Craft a piece of music that represents that person, embodying their characteristics, quirks, and the emotions they inspire in you. This could be a joyful tribute to their positive impact on your life, a melancholic homage to a lost relationship, or a powerful anthem for a role model.

  5. Song from a Picture: Find a piece of visual art that inspires you – it can be a painting, a photograph, or a sculpture. Create a piece of music that interprets this artwork, using your melody, harmony, and rhythm to echo the colors, shapes, and emotions present in the visual piece. This prompt encourages you to make connections between different forms of art and express them through music.

  6. The Nature Symphony: Spend some time in a natural environment, such as a forest, beach, or mountain. Write a piece of music that reflects the natural sounds and feelings associated with this environment. Listen to the rhythms in the rustling leaves, the crashing waves, or the wind against the cliffs. Try to convey the peace, majesty, or raw power of nature through your music.

  7. Musically Mapping Emotions: Consider an emotion that is complex and multi-faceted – something like love, grief, joy, or anxiety. Compose a piece of music that maps the journey of this emotion, from its initial spark to its peak, and its eventual resolution. This is an opportunity to explore how music can capture the intricacies of human emotions, showing their depth and evolution over time.

  8. The Cultural Fusion Experiment: Choose two distinct musical cultures or styles that you enjoy, such as classical Indian and jazz, or Celtic folk and hip-hop. Your challenge is to compose a piece that creatively merges elements from both styles, creating a ‘fusion’ that is innovative yet respectful of its roots. This prompt will test your understanding of different musical traditions and push you to find common ground between seemingly disparate sounds.

  9. The Soundtrack of Your Life: Consider your life as if it were a movie. Compose a piece of music that would serve as the soundtrack for a specific scene – it could be a triumphant climax, a tender moment of self-discovery, or a tense cliffhanger. Make sure your music underscores the emotion and mood of the scene, enhancing the cinematic experience.

  10. Musical Letters: Think about someone you’d like to communicate a specific emotion or message to. Compose a piece that communicates this as if it were a letter, but expressed through melody and harmony instead of words. This can range from love and gratitude to forgiveness or a farewell. Let the music serve as your language.

  11. Dance to Your Own Tune: Most music makes us want to move, but different genres inspire different kinds of movement. Compose a piece that encourages a specific type of dance, be it a graceful waltz, an energetic hip hop routine, or a spontaneous freeform dance. The rhythm, tempo, and mood of your piece should dictate the movement.

  12. The Unknown Instrument: Discover an instrument you’re not familiar with from a culture different than your own. Write a piece of music featuring this instrument. Learn about its unique tonal qualities, traditional playing techniques, and cultural significance. This will challenge you to step outside your musical comfort zone and broaden your auditory palette.

  13. A Song of Healing: Music has a profound ability to provide comfort and promote healing. Compose a piece with the intention of providing solace or relief to those dealing with stress, grief, or illness. It could be a soothing lullaby, a tranquil meditation track, or a song of hope and resilience.

  14. Lyrics from Literature: Choose a piece of literature – a novel, poem, or a play – that resonates with you. Write a song using a quote, a theme, or a character from this literature as your central idea. The music and lyrics should reflect the literary source, giving it a new life and interpretation through your composition.

  15. The Change of Seasons: Each season carries its own set of emotions, colors, and sensations. Compose a piece that embodies the transition from one season to another – such as the rejuvenating shift from winter to spring, or the nostalgic change from summer to fall. This should capture the contrast and transformation between the two seasons, both in the natural world and in human emotions.

  16. The Recipe Rhythm: Take a favorite recipe and use it as a blueprint for a piece of music. Each ingredient and step in the process could correspond to a different musical element – perhaps the rhythm reflects the chopping of vegetables, the harmony mirrors the blending of flavors, and the melody captures the satisfaction of the final taste. This unconventional prompt invites you to think about music in a completely new and sensory way.

  17. Song for the Stars: The cosmos is a vast, beautiful, and awe-inspiring concept that many artists have drawn inspiration from. Create a composition that conveys the sense of wonder and mystery of outer space. You could incorporate the grandeur of celestial bodies, the silence and loneliness of the void, or the thrill of space exploration into your music.

  18. Musical Haiku: Just like a Haiku captures a moment, sensation, or thought in just three lines, compose a piece of music that encapsulates a brief yet impactful narrative or sentiment. This will challenge you to express depth and complexity within simplicity and brevity, as well as to convey a story or emotion as efficiently as possible.

  19. Silent Film Score: Choose a scene from a silent film and compose a new score for it. Since silent films rely heavily on music to convey mood and narrative, this task will allow you to experiment with different ways to express and enhance the visual story with your composition.

  20. The Unsung Hero: Think about an ordinary object or overlooked aspect of daily life – it could be a teapot, a street lamp, or the changing colors of the sky at dusk. Compose a piece of music that highlights and celebrates this “unsung hero” of everyday existence, emphasizing its unique characteristics or the role it plays in our lives.

  21. Sonic Postcard: Imagine you are traveling to a place that you’ve always wanted to visit. Compose a piece that represents a sonic postcard from this place, capturing its unique atmosphere, culture, sounds, and your emotional response to it. Whether it’s the energy of a bustling city, the tranquility of a remote village, or the majesty of a natural wonder, let your music transport the listener to this place.

  22. The Energy of Elements: The four classical elements – Earth, Air, Fire, and Water – each have distinctive characteristics and symbolic meanings. Compose a piece of music inspired by one of these elements, evoking its energy, motion, and symbolic connotations. This could be the calm and depth of water, the intensity of fire, the stability of earth, or the freedom of air.

  23. Musical Self-Portrait: Create a musical self-portrait by composing a piece that represents you, your personality, and your life experiences. This is not about capturing your skills as a composer or musician, but rather about expressing your personal journey, dreams, struggles, and achievements through music.

  24. The Forgotten Fairy Tale: Imagine a forgotten fairy tale or an obscure myth and compose a piece that could be its soundtrack or theme. This will allow you to explore the moods, motifs, and narrative arcs typical of these stories – from magical and whimsical to eerie and foreboding – and express them musically.