Author Topic: Emoting dancing and songwriting?  (Read 1558 times)


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Emoting dancing and songwriting?
« on: February 10, 2020, 11:31:19 AM »
Need some suggestions for that kind of thing as I do like the idea of playing a entertainer type character but I have absolutely no clue how to emote dancing appropriately. Songwriting is kind of a thing that would be unique to the character but tips on doing that as I don't have the ooc talent  :P.

resting as a city elf walking in the wilderness because "I was so close" and then got jumped by things that could easily kill me and I didn't have the stamina to escape.


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Re: Emoting dancing and songwriting?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 12:29:47 PM »
Dancing I'm less sure, but for songwriting I typically grab a song I like in RL, sub out words that don't fit with their zalanthan counterparts, and then if it still sounds alright I use it in game.
3/21/16 Never Forget


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Re: Emoting dancing and songwriting?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 02:22:00 PM »
Sometimes obvious rl songs (I stick to classics that other people have a higher chance of getting), and sometimes I make things up.  I remember making up an innuendo song about fruit on the fly once...rhyming helps.

My one word of advice...keep it short!  I've been spammed pages with no emotes just someone singing is dull.  10 individual lines with an emote per line is good.

Also, one song per gathering of characters.  Have breaks for a drink, chat, or quiet instrumentals.  Don't go through your entire repertoire.  It is fine to garner some attention, but like with exceptionally long songs, if you keep trying to hog the limelight, it gets boring for other people.

Have flaws.  Your instrument squeaks, breaks a string, needs tuning, or your voice cracks, you forget the words and one line of a rhyming song turns into you embarrassingly going "ta-tum-te-tum-something-that-rhymes-with-quirri...".  Especially if you are lower class rather than bard-to-a-Fale.

Make up little ditties (6-10 rhyming lines) about other characters.  Their quirks, rumours, and so on.  Be rude and crude.  Be over the top sycophant.  If they are at least vaguely complimentary, people will love their own.  Their enemies will love the ones that aren't at all complimentary.

I find that when things rhyme, it flows better for IC songs.  Sure, RL doesn't need rhymes.  But in a flat text-based medium, the rhyming flow sounds more tuneful.

If you write a longer song, have a chorus that requires audience participation.  And WAIT during the chorus, let people emote to join in, don't stride on ahead, specifically slow down and wave your hand to let other players carry the tune.

As for dancing, again, unless you're a noble, make mistakes sometimes.  Use the scenery and go full musical number by dancing on the bar or doing the stepping onto the backs of chairs?  Draw other people in if appropriate, either as the musical talent or as a partner.  Teach dancing to others (for a fee).  I also find having a suitable music track thumping on repeat through my headphones (for the emotion and beat I'm trying to convey), does wonders for keeping my character moving.

Like with music, don't outlast your welcome.  Be encouraging others to join in, but take breaks, let characters in wherever you are circulate so you aren't just dancing at the same people.

If all else fails, involve juggling.  Throw things at people accidentally-on-purpose.  Smile winningly so they don't thump you for it!
Previous of note: Kaevya the blind Tor Scorpion, Kaloraynai 'Raynai' the beetle Ruk, Korenyire of SLK, Koal 'Kick' the hooved Whiran, Kocadici/Dici/Glimmer, Koefaxine the giant Oashi 'Aide', Kosmia 'Grit' the rinthi
Current: Like I'd tell you.


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Re: Emoting dancing and songwriting?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2020, 04:17:11 PM »
That's... really good advice, K.  Thanks.

tiny rainbow

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Re: Emoting dancing and songwriting?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2020, 12:25:57 AM »
I found a few posts searching around that are really good:

Biiig post on Music & Performance Arts

They were definately pre-prepared.  They were polished.  They were edited, probably several times.  I didn't analyze logs later, but I wouldn't be surprised if they had no duplicates of "major" descriptive words.  It takes time to produce that level of performance.  A lot of time.

Let's say the professionals did random performances fairly frequently..  Their average level of performance would be below the quality that they exhibit with the prepared scripts.  Then you get people thinking OOC that X person is a poor bard.  This OOC tendency of observers, because the performer's random emotes aren't as crisp as the ones they spent 2 weeks on, would eventually find its way IC for some.  The bard now has to deal with people bitching about their inconsistant quality.

"Real world" performers are just as bad off the cuff.  (Most, I should say.  Some shine.)  That's why they practice pieces

You are not going to get to convey the tune in your head (if you have one) to your audience.

[..]It is necessary to think in terms of storytelling, of lyrics and of poetry, instead.
[..]You have to produce something that will interest your audience, be it comment or lengthy story, comic or serious, bawdy or formal.
Because of that unavoidable fact of playing a text based game, the only bards I have ever seen who seemed to be well respected for their craft, and not just annoying the other tavern-goers, are the ones who focused on lore, legend, and storytelling
1. Be there when things happen. If you catch wind of something important going down, try to get an invite and note what you see to turn it into song. But don't sing while there. Please. People will be busy.

2. Sing about events that have happened, including names that people recognize. Such songs will be far more interesting (to players at least, which will tend to be reflected in their characters' level of interest).

It's not too hard to emote music.  Using actual music terms (barring those that are commonly known) isn't necessary.

All you have to do it construct a few metaphors and, dare I say, be a little more subjective than you might normally emote.

So, how do you express, using only text, this: ?

Assume it's two musicians, each playing a renaissance lute, which exists in the game, according to the instrument's mdesc (it's not *named* a renaissance lute, but the description matches one).

And just so you don't cop out and say it's a complex piece of music - it's just a fugue. I had to play those when I was taking piano lessons, at age 10. They're very simplistic melodies, even though the resulting sound is complex and rich.
Let's take a quick stab at it...

The tall muscular man starts to pluck a stately, but faintly somber, melody from his lute.

The tall muscular man's brow knits in concentration as the notes rise and fall gracefully and with greater frequency.

The lithe, blue-eyed woman starts to play her lute as well, echoing the song's stately beginning.

For a brief time, the tall muscular man switches roles with the lithe, blue-eyed woman, playing the counterpoint while her swift fingers take the lead.

The thick swarthy dwarf takes up his bass lute, his rich notes adding a layer of grandeur to the piece.

The tell muscular man leans back as he trills some of the higher notes from his instrument, then starts to pinch both melody and counterpoint from the strings.

Clear notes rise and fall elegantly from the lithe, blue-eyed woman's lute.

After a pause, the thick swarthy dwarf's bass sounds out again, underscoring the intertwining melodies of the tall muscular man and the lithe, blue-eyed woman.

The tall muscular man's instrument hums with sound, the music dancing around the lithe, blue-eyed woman's own performance.

The thick, swarthy dwarf's majestic notes join in the dance, all three musicians taking turn as lead melody.

The lithe, blue-eyed woman sways as her fingers flit across the strings.  Her music rises and falls, dashes as the lead and retreats into harmony.

After another rest, the thick, swarthy dwarf joins back in for the finale.

The tall muscular man's lute rings with sound, the notes dancing precisely.  All three players unify for the stately theme of the song ending on a majestic chord.

Though as a bard I'd try and prepare my best performances ahead of time, being a bit more poetic and descriptive.

Oh, and one of my favourite logs of all times... that's pure concentrated Zach. He'd ALWAYS make fun of himself.

At your table, you say in sirihish:
     "Would be bold ta claim it..."

The lissome, kohl-eyelined man winks to a grey-eyed bard from the shade of his hat.

At your table, the cherubic, silvery-eyed teen says in sirihish, dipping her chin:

The lissome, kohl-eyelined man tucks your spiral-glazed goblet drum beneath his left arm, his dark lashes sinking downwards slowly.

The lissome, kohl-eyelined man begins to play a crude rhythm, his dancing palm and fingers producing a pattern of a few simple beats.

The cherubic, silvery-eyed teen's head very subtly bobs with the beat, eyes shifting between you and your drum.

A rough, coarse and not very melodic tone to his voice, you sing, in sirihish:
     "I'm a lousy bard..."

His gaze shifting towards a nearby table of gamblers, you sing, in sirihish:
     "Can not even play a card..."

Amusement flashes across the cherubic, silvery-eyed teen's face.

You sing, in sirihish:
     "I can't play any song..."

His voice accompanied by a dissonant rhythm from your spiral-glazed goblet drum, you sing, in sirihish:
     "Been a beginner too long..."

You sing, in sirihish:
     "I never heard of tha war..."

Flashing the cherubic, silvery-eyed teen a warm smile, you sing, in sirihish:
     "But the lass at mah side is a star..."

The cherubic, silvery-eyed teen rolls her eyes with a smile.

The lissome, kohl-eyelined man winces and quickly withdraws his hand from your spiral-glazed goblet drum, causing the simple melody to die down.

At your table, you say in sirihish, pursing his lips poutfully:
     "Think I broke mah finger."

At your table, the cherubic, silvery-eyed teen says in sirihish, smiling at you:
     "Ah, get off it. Ya did not. That weren't bad at all."

emote Swaying from side to side, @ slowly revolves in a tiny circle with ~man, looking as awkward and uncomfortable as a girl at a sixth-grade school dance.

As when it comes to emoting anything, the best way to go about it is to think about exactly what the character is doing. 

For a song: What sort of movements are your fingers doing with the instrument?  What kind of song is it that you're playing, and what is the mood that you want to convey to your audience?  What is the tempo of the music?  Are you playing just loud enough to be heard by those in your immediate vicinity, or are you playing loudly enough to be heard over a crowd?

For a dance: Again, think about exactly how your character is moving.  What sort of music are you using?  (If you don't have a PC playing the music for you, it's a good idea to use a VNPC in your emotes to play the music for you unless you're dancing without music.)  Are you using props?  How does your clothing move about you while you dance?
If I want to make a dance that should be impressive, I want it to be impressive not just because I put the word 'impressive' in one of the two emotes.

Big thread:
good bards are a treasure to the game

[..]it's permissible to dislike bards who write bad verse, or power-emote

[..]only half the equation though - if you want to see more good bards, you need to encourage the ones you like with tips and gifts.

Quote from: sleepyhead
I am a musician IRL and can be a bit of a music theory nerd. I was ready to try and apply all that knowledge to my emotes. And to my shame, I think I did just that a few times. But what I quickly discovered was that most people won't understand what I am trying to convey if I emote about tetrachords, open fifths, and two-octave glissandi. I was just trying to show off, and it wasn't impressing anybody.

More importantly, though, I realized that even if I could make myself understood, getting too into the weeds with the details isn't a good or efficient way to get across the intended feel of the music my character is playing. Sure, there's the old adage "show, don't tell," but it's easy to take that too far and fail to express the forest because you're too busy describing individual trees. When it comes to describing music, I like using atmospheric words like wistful, plaintive, lilting, jolly, ecstatic, pensive, and whimsical; tempo words like plodding, jaunty, bright, unhurried, upbeat, and blazing; and "texture" words like sparse, ethereal, airy, weighty, chordal, melodic, and harplike. If there's singing, I try to work in how the instrumental part supports the vocal line and how it interplays with it, without getting too technical.

I think a lot of what I've learned about musical emoting could easily be applied to dance. You don't have to describe every step. Now, of course, if there's a part where the individual movements are important to the performance, then go ahead and throw those in. And I've seen incredibly talented emoters pull off this kind of dance scene, but it's not necessary to be entertaining. Think about the kind of feeling you want to produce in your audience, and choose words that will tug at those strings. Describe your dance in general terms, then focus in on a few colorful details to both enhance the mood and increase immersion.

For example, if your PC is dancing a lively routine, and you want your audience to feel joyful, you could emote about your brisk steps, quick leaps, flashed smiles, or the wild fluttering of your scarf as you whirl about the firepit. Even if they're not directly related to your dance, you might use your emotes to call attention to details that evoke the right feeling, like your bright clothing, an errant breeze, the vibrantly glowing fire, and so on.

If your goal is to arouse your audience, you can think about what kind of attraction you're trying to tap into. Some forms of seduction involve flowing, serpentine motions: the slow sweep of a bare foot over soft sand, an indulgent arch of the back, a fluid turn of the wrist. Sense-heavy imagery like the glow of floating embers in the darkness could help enhance the atmosphere. You could also try to incorporate a display of power into your dance, like the percussive thundering of your heavy shoes on the wood floor. You could use aggressive adjectives, as well as words and concepts associated with fighting. This kind of feel is attractive in a different way, and you could try mixing these two expressions of sexuality for interesting effect.

If you generally try and keep your descriptions a little more vague and poetic, concentrating more on effect than on literal description, then the particular maneuvers that you DO describe in detail will pop a lot more. Suddenly, it's clear where the high points and climax of the dance are. That moment when you leap over the fire feels more effective--more like the focus of the act. Your performance no longer seems like just a series of impressive moves. It seems like art, just like dancing should.

P.S. You don't have to do it with every emote, of course, but if there are VNPC musicians involved, toss in the occasional reference to how the music underscores the dancing. If one or more of you is supposed to be improvising (even if you've written it out beforehand), you can express how you and the musician(s) are playing off each other and collaborating on the fly, etc. Just allude to it every now and then to remind the audience that music is being played, and what kind of backdrop it's setting for your dance.

Quote from: Harmless

What I've seen done IG so far has either been openly gypsy inspired (I wonder why) or has been egyptian/arabian inspired (for obvious reasons, though not to say that zalanthas is egyptian culturally, but there aren't many other preserved examples of dance from 6000BC or earlier, and it crossed over multiple cultures, not just Egypt. That portability of the basics of the style, exemplified in above video almost one after the other, is probably how I'd "visualize" dancing in Zalanthas.

My favourite gothic bellydancer:

Her body control is unreal.

- Similes and metaphor
- Detail is good, one-line dance is for scripted NPCs that are designed to be LESS noticeable! Make it something worth reading and memorable :D Pour effort into it and it shows!!

One really beautiful thing that happens is good stories tend to get passed around as a kind of oral history, at least for a few generations of characters (passing stories on to vNPCs via these forums or the IC boards in-game is effective for making the big stuff last past the players)...

... With dancing, it's harder to carry on a tradition that way, due to the OOC limitations/theme of the forums or game boards where vNPC communication is speech and not actions usually (though I suppose one could put some ideas or samples of dances up to try simulate that aspect of cultural teaching!) - BUT it's also nice anyway to mix in aspects of dances of other characters that meant something to your character but are gone now, and eerie, sweetly touching, that they might end up seeing aspects of their own dances played out on another character :)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 10:18:35 AM by tiny rainbow »
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."
"The paths diversify, bright strands bring victory, the wrong steps defeat."


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Re: Emoting dancing and songwriting?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2020, 09:18:18 PM »
This game is wild because the answer to how to properly play a bard? Oh, just actually become a writer, actor, and performer.

I felt like I might as well have been a songwriter just to have a character who sang songs occasionally. He didn't even write them.

tiny rainbow

  • Posts: 381
Re: Emoting dancing and songwriting?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2020, 01:23:53 PM »
Found this too:

And this:
A Tuluki Dance by Rairen

- The website seems like a lot of the stories are broken at the moment, hopefully it's just problem with the links and not actually lost forever :o when you look at and scroll down a lot of the "Continue Reading..." links go to nowhere at the moment, the link for "The Long-Distance Troublemakers" is broken but the number link (536) works
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."
"The paths diversify, bright strands bring victory, the wrong steps defeat."