Top Ten Tuesday #44: Characters Who Are Musically Inclined

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Musically Inclined Characters
Originally I thought I might go with characters I'd want as my best friend or my favorite book boyfriends, but I had to show SOME self control here. If I did book boyfriends, there's zero way I could limit myself to fifty, let alone try to cut it to ten. So instead, I was inspired to do a list full of characters who display some amount of musical talent, whether they sing or play an instrument. I did limit to those who can play and perform, not just music lovers or I'd want to include way more than the, erm, 23 characters who did make this list. Oops.

1.Drew & Virginia, Major Crush by Jennifer Echols. These two are, by far, my favorites on this list. Virginia is a saucy beauty queen majorette turned little drummer girl turned drum major. Then there's beautiful Drew, who is a goofy trombone boy who grows up and also becomes drum major. These two are enormously talented, and their chemistry is palpable. Sure, they don't pick up instruments for the majority of the book because they're busy directing the band (sometimes successfuly and sometimes not so much), but it's their passion for band and music that keeps them working hard at what they do and also keeps them together.

2. Davy, Uninvited by Sophie Jordan. Davy also doesn't spend much time at the keys of a keyboard in Uninvited so I hope she does get a chance to do so in Unleashed a little bit, but Davy's extraordinary talent helps to round out her character and gives one more piece of evidence that the HTC gene doesn't always prove a reliable judge of a person.

3. Jem, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Um, duh. Jem's music is an intrinsic part of himself. The scenes when he plays are so absurdly gorgeous; the writing is so descriptive that the words float off the page like sound. Also, Jem's playing led to so many lovely moments between Tessa and himself such as their introduction and, um, some other pretty great scenes. ;)

4. Bailey & Sam, Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols. I'm enormously jealous of Bailey's pitch perfect talent. I have decent pitch, but hers is literally perfect. I like that Bailey doesn't give up on music even though her parents forbid it. Once again, like with Will and Virginia in Major Crush, Jennifer uses her characters' passion for music as the catalyst for their relationship. Bailey and Sam spend much of DLS fighting about this and that, but it's their talent and their spark, their mutual respect and dedication to music that keeps them together.

5. Edward, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Say what you want about Twilight, but when you have lived over 100 years, you probably will find a hobby or two to be brilliant at. Edward is a phenomenal pianist, and I love the scenes when he plays. It shows a more human side to him. He's calmer when he plays. He also uses his talent to prove to his family how much he loves them, which I can respect.

6. Dee and Matt, Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Man, I loved this book! I'll be posting a review soon, but I think Emery NAILED the songs in book. I often think that authors who write out lyrics use cheesy rhymes and cheap clichés, but Emery's lyrics for Dee and Matt both are meaningful. Dee shines as a rising star who uses her long-term relationship and devastating breakup as inspiration for a raw and relatable album while Matt is a former child star struggling to make sense of a very personal loss. Both of these characters use their music to guide them through their losses and realize the beauty of the lives they have. If you're wondering why I wrote out 'and' instead of using an ampersand, it's because these two are not romantically involved.

7. Tia & Will, Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols. Yep. As a former band girl, Jennifer earns three spots on this list. She just gets it. Tia and Will are a hot mess together, and the only time they're being true to themselves is when they're on the field. Tia is a major slacker who shines on the field while Will is an upstanding All-American Boy who also shines on the field, but after he moves to Florida, he allows himself to loosen up a bit. They're a good match. They make each other more complete.

8. Mik, Daughter of Smoke & Bone series by Laini Taylor. Sure, Mik isn't one of the primary players in the DoSaB series, but he and Zuzana provide much-needed comic relief and as well as a "normal" healthy human relationship, arguments and silliness and sweetness and love included. Mik's talent not only brought him to Zuz, but it also helps him interact with the chimaera. In Days of Blood & Starlight, Mik's violin playing helps him to entwine with the monster society in the sand castle (for the life of me, I can't remember the official term!) because his music transcends language. Once the chimaera escape back to Eretz, it's Mik's playing and his and Zuzana's presence overall that helps ease the tension between the monsters and the angels.

9. Lizzie, Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg. Lizzie's piano playing again is the catalyst for much of the book. Without her talent, Lizzie never would have attended
Longbourn; ergo, no piano, no book. And, like many books listed above, the music also helps intensify the connection between love interests. Will helps Lizzie get tickets to see his mother play and arranges a meeting between the two because he knows it will make her happy, even though he hides the fact that he's the one helping her. When Lizzie finds out, she realizes that what he did was for her, and it helps them grow closer. Awwww, squishy feelings!!
10. Destiny, Michael, & Isaac, Destiny by Cindy Ray Hale. I think it's really cool that Cindy includes male characters who aren't ashamed of their vocal talents. Too many people in our society consider arts education "unmanly" and a lot of fictional characters reflect that unfortunate sentiment. I like that the characters in the Destiny trilogy not only share their musical talent frequently, but they work hard to improve as well! Once again, the music is used as a plot device as the characters imitate what they're singing (Les Mis, but there isn't an actual revolution with guns and death and stuff in Destiny).

11.  Emme, Ethan, Sophie, Ben and Jack, Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg. I enjoyed Take a Bow, but I admit it's the Eulberg novel I remember the least. Still, this is the book that most exhibits Elizabeth's love for music, and I wanted to include it. This group attends a private school for the arts in New York, and music drives both the plot and the characters. Music is who they are. Elizabeth recently released an epilogue from ten years after the book, and it's so interesting to see how music continued to shape these characters after The End.

12. Mia & Adam, If I Stay by Gayle Forman. *sobs incontrollably* It's hard to talk about this book without getting really emotional so I'll just say that music is really important to this book and to Mia and Adam. There is one scene in particular between these two that is so beautifully written that I just can't even handle it.

 I personally love how I rarely can narrow my picks down to just ten, and even with cheating a lot and grouping musically minded characters from the same book, I couldn't even limit myself. You know you love it too. Do you have any favorite musical characters that I left off the list? Share your thoughts and your TTT lists in the comments!


  1. I can't wait to read Biggest Flirts!! It looks so cute! And I really need to read If I Stay before the movie comes out!! I started it a while back, but I put it down because I got too sad :( Great list!! I love the music idea!

    My TTT

  2. I can't agree with you more. Edward playing the piano is what inspired me to start taking piano lessons about a year and a half ago. Hopefully some day I will be half as talented as he is. Great list!!

    Here is my TTT:

  3. I haven't read most of these books, but I totally agree with Jem and Mik. I love both characters a lot. Great list. And I am looking forward to reading several of these books.

  4. I need to read Open Road Summer! I've heard nothing but good about that book :-)
    Love the topic....and will definitely look to it if I am in the mood for a book with musically inclined characters.

  5. So many books I need to add to my tbr!! Im not familiar with most of the books, but I am so glad that Jem made #3 on the list!!

  6. I was quite excited to see Jem and Edward made the cut as they were the first two to come to mind.

  7. I've only read three of these, but I'm glad you included Twilight. People seem to either hate it or love it, and I personally loved the saga. I know I've read several books with a musician in them (not necessarily the main character, though), but I'm kind of drawing a blank. Glancing at my bookshelf, I know Sam in Linger by Maggie Stiefvater sang, but I can't remember if he played guitar too. I think some of her other characters (in other books) do. And Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover has a strong music theme, and even a soundtrack. Nice post.