Saturday, February 13, 2010

Writing and Music

I had this thought when I clicked on Julie Dao's blog Silver Lining earlier today before I moved on to my own work. Julie has the most lovely and tasteful music playing on her site.

When discussions at the various writing forums turn to music, and people ask what kind of music I listen to while I write - I usually say none. But it's more complicated than that.

I know there are some pieces of music or instrumental pieces which drive me in the direction of my computer and make me want to write. I think they make me feel content and comfortable, and maybe even take me back to my elementary years when I was still taking music lessons (before I gave them up so I could have riding lessons). That was also the time I began writing, and sometimes the two worlds converged. I wrote music as well as stories. They were not Mozart level creations, but they worked for me. I remember spending hours sitting at the piano listening for the notes that sounded well together and marking them. When I was really feeling the music, I'd sit there with tears streaming down my face.

Music is plugged into my emotional core. So is writing. That's how listening to music can affect or impact my urges to write.

When I went to see LOTR with my friends, I was agonizing over my itching fingers. The music spoke to my soul (to be dramatic) and filled my head with words that needed letting out.

That doesn't mean it works the same just by plugging in a little LOTR music on any old day. It seems that the music which 'speaks to my soul' brings about more than one effect. If it doesn't drive me to write, it relaxes me and puts me in a far-off mood so I don't really see the computer or feel like working.

Various piano pieces and soundtrack themes (like the Last of the Mohicans) affect me the same way - they either draw that artistic nerve out of hiding. Or they take my brain to join that artistic nerve in that dream world where it lives.

But again, if I were to nail it down -

The types of music which I believe feed the soul are those that draw a positive and reflective response from you.

I LOVE things like Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance', but I could NEVER write to it. It is music I prefer to jog or drive with.

For writing, I prefer instrumentals - preferably classical, contemporary, and folk. Some vocals are alright, but I can be fairly finicky. :)


  1. My romance is about a rockstar, so I write to rock music most of the time. Classical would just seem out of place, lol.

  2. I can imagine. *laughs*

    Maybe that's the reason why I can't write to rock or pop. My characters would invariably assume completely different attitudes... and hairstyles. :]

  3. Thank you so much for the compliment!! :) I love movie scores. They are, hands down, my favorite type of music to write to because I can so clearly connect each song to the emotions it's supposed to represent. Do you have a Pandora account? I highly recommend it. I have a station that I typed "Dario Marianelli" into (he composed for "Atonement," "Pride and Prejudice," "V For Vendetta," etc) and it plays all sorts of music that are similar. I've found lots of great songs that way. Thanks for the shout-out and happy writing!

  4. No problem - Your blog is lovely and enjoyable to visit. Keep up the good work<:

    I think I have a Pandora account... but it's been a while since I accessed it. I'll check it out. Thanks<:


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