Overtone and undertone are concepts used as a way to describe the tone in a musical sense. Tones, when you use them properly, can affect the way your audience will feel when viewing or listening to your work. But tones can be easily used, once you have understood what they are and how to use them.
The tone is the emotional cue of whatever the writer has written in their work, the writer can use the tone to represent the attitude and stance of the author. The tone is separate from another literary style or device named mood. The mood is a literary device that authors use to denote the emotional atmosphere of a specific story, scene, or dialogue.
There are many types of tones in Literature that can be used to set your attitude in writing. Some examples of the types of tones are called, formal, informal, happy or optimistic, assertive, etc. You can easily set the tone of your writing by inserting specific words or phrases into your writing.
First, you must select what type of tone you want to use in your writing. Do some research on what type of tone you want to use and what the specific tone does to your writing. You must also keep this tone in mind when you are writing, to do this it is best to either write down the specific tone and its description on a document or a piece of paper that is within arms reach.
After you have selected your tone, do some research on how this tone should be structured and what types of words can help push this tone onto your writing. You can write down onto your reference specific words, phrases, and keywords that you can use to enhance your tone.
It is not enough that you will insert specific words, phrases, and keywords into the body of your work. Strategic placement of these words can significantly improve the tone, structure, and readability of your work. As a general rule of thumb, it is best if you do not use the same words over and over again to push the tone.
You have to maintain your tone throughout your work because an unclear tone can miscommunicate the emotions the writer wants to convey.
There are many different examples of the usage of Tone in literature. An example can be found in this quote in Ryunoske Akutagawa’s In A Grove “Yes, sir. Certainly, it was I who found the body. This morning, as usual, I went to cut my daily quota of cedars, when I found the body in the grove in a hollow in the mountain.” In the story, the author has stated woodcutter has stated this quote as his testimony to the high police commissioner. The tone of the passage is very neutral and leads to the assumption that the woodcutter is very confident in his testimony. This quote is then juxtaposed later in the story.
The tone is a way for the author to create contrasts and conjunctions in the story, scene, or dialogue without affecting the overall direction of the story. This allows the reader to discern the writer’s attitude towards the specific story, scene, or dialogue. The tone is also very different from another literary device called the mood, which describes the attitude delivered by the character in a specific story, scene, or dialogue.
The tone has no marginal difference when it is being used either in writing or music. As this literary device occupies the same space and means the same thing. This is because tone denotes the attitude of the author, writer, or singer when they are delivering their art to their audience.
The tone is a very important and useful literary device as it can help let the audience or reader understand what the author feels about a specific subject. This literary device can make or break the appreciation of a specific output you have made, as output without tone is often found to be soulless or devoid of emotion.