I have recently started learning how to play the bass guitar. It is giving me a whole new sense of appreciation for music, and I have begun to listen to music and view musicians in an entirely new light.
So, as most things make me think of Jane Austen, this made me think about her novels differently. What current musicians and music would best illustrate these characters?
I immediately think of Pink for Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennett. Pink is full of spunk, witty lyrics, and imaginative song rhythms. Plus, just like Elizabeth, she is a longtime favorite and has great staying power. Her beautiful and introverted older sister Jane? Nora Jones—her songs are lovely and engaging melodies that entice your attention but soon fade into the distance. Her foolish younger sister Lydia? A young Britney Spears—all show and no talent, full of vamping and immature sex appeal.
Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility? Kesha all the way. A little bit ridiculous and brash, but a lot of fun with her catchy singsong voice and techno attention-getting beats. Marianne’s sister Elinor makes me think of Adele—much more somber and mature in her song choices, but with an elegant and controlled voice that soothes.
Hmm...Emma’s Emma Woodhouse… I would have to say Taylor Swift. A little immature and focused primarily on relationships, but overall, imaginative in the musical rifts and rhythms and a consistent squeaky-clean favorite of the musical world.
And my favorite, Anne Elliot of Persuasion? That would have to be Alicia Keys—the subtle use of her voice and melodies, the importance of the piano, the inherent romanticism in her lyrics, all set in major keys of hope and optimism.
I’ll have to think a little more on the male characters in Jane Austen’s novels. I am thinking they are more Classic Rock musicians, with a little Bruno Mars, Psy, and Adam Levine thrown in.