Music brings people of all walks of life together. Music speaks to us on a level nothing else can reach. Music touches us like nothing else can.
Young adult literature happens to be capable of doing all of the same things.
So, why not connect the two? Many artists have done just that. Not a lot of people have heard of this current phenomenon, but songs and musical artists focused on literature are becoming commonplace in the wonderful world of the internet. They aren’t songs that eventually get noticed and played on the radio or in clubs, either. They are raw, passionate tunes written by, for, and with readers in mind.
Most prominent are the songs written for young adult readers. You only need to spend ten minutes with the YouTube search engine to find a piece of music related to one of the popular books out right now. I’m talking about The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Fault In Our Stars, and, thought I hate to bring this up again, Twilight.
If you’ve never once heard about music written for books before this post, you most likely have heard of a thing called Wizard Rock. Easily the largest form of book-music synergy, Wrock, as it’s called in the community, is music about the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. And yes, although written for the slightly younger crowd, Harry Potter is considered young adult literature. I think we can also all agree that the series is definitely not written solely for children. I am twenty years old and still wear my Ravenclaw robes out in public.
It is believed that Wrock started sometime between 2002 and 2004. The first major musical act to be recognized in the genre was Harry and the Potters. Their style can be described as reminiscent of early punk rock and the nerd-ish rock band, They Might Be Giants. The band is made up of brothers, Joe and Paul DeGeorge. Joe and Paul take turns singing as Harry Potter, the character, in each song, creating a personal and often humorous view of the books themselves. Over the years, Wrock has developed into many genres within a genre. There are rap and hip-hop acts, pop acts, acoustic acts, and ridiculous-I-can’t-even-tell-if-this-is-even-music acts. One of my personal favorites is a Wrock band called Ministry of Magic. MoM are a poppier act than H&tPs, also writing songs from different characters’ perspectives. The members of M0M live in different places across the country, which makes their main place of collaboration YouTube and other social networking sites. Their videos are extremely entertaining, if you’re a Potter-head, and the songs are very well thought out, catchy, and have a professionally produced sound. These two bands are only a couple well known acts out of hundreds upon hundreds of Wrock artists. That’s the best part of this genre… Variety!
Here comes the part of the blog where I talk about John Green, yet again. I can’t help it. The man is an inspiration.
If you’re not privy to Harry Potter and all of the crazy nerdiness that comes with associating yourself with anything but the movies, I must reiterate the absolute prize that is YouTube. Recently, a number of songs have popped up from independent, royalty-free musicians on the video-sharing site about Mr. Green’s new novel, The Fault In Our Stars. Like the book, these songs are beautiful piano or acoustic guitar pieces that will probably bring you to tears (sorry, Jordyn). But the passion that these musicians show with their music in turn shows us how wide the impact of young adult literature is. Being a reader doesn’t mean your nose stays glued in the books. Being a real reader means that you do something with what you read. And I am so glad that some very talented people have chosen to do that by bringing literature to life in music.
I’ve created a playlist for those of you who would like to check out some songs. The hyperlinks above also send you to different music videos and performances of the subjects mentioned. This was an interesting blog to write, and I hope that you all enjoy what you hear.