Music for writing

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devinganger
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Tue May 31, 2016 12:34 am Post

Some writers can't abide any distractions. Others must have customized playlists for every character they write. Between those two extremes, there is a lot of room.

If you write to music, what do you write to?

With two current exceptions, I have to listen to instrumental music -- lyrics can pull me out of the story I'm telling and get me lost in the story the singer is telling. (My lone exceptions? Alison Krauss, with or without Union Station backing her. Enigma.)

I write speculative fiction of a wide variety, and I have eclectic tastes in music, so I mix genres, styles and artists into a single playlist for most of my writing sessions. I have found that soundtracks (movies, TV series, and videogames) give me a lot of consistency and known quality, but I am always on the lookout for more:

Current residents in my writing soundtrack:
Alison Krauss
Bastion soundtrack
Engima
Halo 1-3 soundtracks
Homeworld soundtrack
Hunt for Red October soundtrack
Jesse Stone soundtrack by Jeff Beal
Mass Effect 1-3 soundtracks
Rezz
Rome soundtrack by Jeff Beal
Transcendence by Sean Christopher
Tron Legacy soundtrack by Daft Punk
Various ST (TNG, DS9) songs
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Hugh
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Tue May 31, 2016 10:12 am Post

Another movie soundtrack fan here - and a fan of anything that sounds likes a movie soundtrack. So - Sibelius to Zimmer.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Siren
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Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:54 am Post

Requiems, generally, if anything (yes, really). But at this very minute, I'm working rather than writing, so I'm playing a chirpy playlist-shuffle of Fletcher Henderson and Georges Brassens.
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xiamenese
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Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:59 am Post

But I always understood that Sirens create their own music! :lol:

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Siren
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Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:32 am Post

:D Only when lounging around on rocks by the sea. We're very restrained and quiet creatures in other circumstances. ;)
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exegete77
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Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:14 am Post

For serious writing (which is usually theological in nature) I listen to Taize, about 80 in that play list.

But I have a mix of old country (pre-1960) like Skillet Lickers, 1934
Bluegrass Daybreak in Dixie
Instrumentals (especially guitar, mandolin) like Nothing to it
traditional European music
Vesele Štajerke - Ujela sem šopek
Debela Dekl'ca - Šerbi Band Aid 2010
Flachauer Stubnmusi

Okay, I know, enough links.

A bit of diversity

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kewms
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Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:30 pm Post

I also prefer to avoid recognizable lyrics, although in choral music the voices are sufficiently "instrument"-like to be ignorable. Moderate-tempo jazz and classical music, mostly, somewhat depending on whether I want and energy boost or damper.

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vic-k
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Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:38 am Post

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Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:41 pm Post

kewms wrote:I also prefer to avoid recognizable lyrics, although in choral music the voices are sufficiently "instrument"-like to be ignorable. Moderate-tempo jazz and classical music, mostly, somewhat depending on whether I want and energy boost or damper.


My choices also. Brubeck, MJQ and Metheny. Sibelius, Borodin, Vaughn Williams, Copland and sometimes Rachmaninoff. Also some of Yo-yo Ma's cross-over stuff.

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MrDithers
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Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:59 pm Post

I like to write to music without lyrics too, although Linkin' Park and Evanescence, among others, have inspired some of my characters. My soundtracks list includes:

Harry Potter 1-3
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3
Chronicles of Narnia 1&2
The Da Vinci Code
Angels and Demons

And it all depends on the which ones get mixed in depending on the project, and the scene. Some books lend themselves to more actiony scenes, some are more thoughtful, and making sure I get the right music matched with the right scene and feeling that I'm trying to convey is incredibly important, otherwise my whole train of thought can derail and block my imagination up.

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TheBard
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:47 pm Post

Anything from the classical feed from Southern California (KUSC or Monterey) to Ax7.

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Melmoth
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Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:14 pm Post

Movie soundtracks, absolutely, and post-rock, loads and loads of post-rock.

Favorites:
Mono,
Explosions in the Sky,
Mogwai,
Clint Mansell soundtracks,
John Murphy soundtracks
Last edited by Melmoth on Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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yosimiti
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Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:22 pm Post

I don't listen to music but hum to myself while writing. Yeah, I know, it's strange. What do I hum? Anything by John Williams.

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Hugh
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Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:01 pm Post

Hugh wrote:Another movie soundtrack fan here - and a fan of anything that sounds likes a movie soundtrack. So - Sibelius to Zimmer.


And at the start or the end of a day's writing when you need music and words, especially words, to fire up or free your expressiveness - anything from the Pete Atkin/Clive James/Julie Covington songbook. A minority taste, it's true, and the world has never acquired it, but that's the world's loss and I'm a big fan, especially of the early songs.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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vic-k
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Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:38 pm Post

Hugh wrote:anything from the Pete Atkin/Clive James/Julie Covington songbook.

Just a Soupçon of Ambrosia from Pete https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wkk4dFNUak

And another https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Butt2hVdyzg
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.