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Although I never became a professional musician, I think that music has influenced the way I write, though this was never a conscious aim. And I am in fine company here, with James Joyce, Anthony Burgess, Vikram Seth, and Proust! - and other writers whose work reflects their interest in music in different ways.

A musical phrase or movement proceeds by a combination of repetition and extension, and I use the repetition of words and phrases perhaps more than is usual. The sound and rhythm of the sentences I write, their length and punctuation accord with the way I hear them in my mind's ear as well as with the basic demands of grammar and meaning.

Apart from its form, music can define and portray emotions more clearly than words and often has an immediate emotional impact. In certain ways, music provides metaphors for everyday life. Musical concepts such as development and variation, counterpoint, harmony and discord, change of key, pedal point, and many others, have more general meanings too.

Music has its own structures, but it is interesting to compare a story in literature with its counterpart in music (the story of Romeo and Juliet, for example) - one narrative structure becoming another; or to compare the portrayal of a character (Falstaff perhaps, or Richard III) in both ways. Or to compare general depictions of love or grief, old age, or natural features such as wind or water.

And I am always intrigued to see how music and musicians are described in fiction (often badly, in my view!)