Music to write to

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Rainjay, May 14, 2015.


Do you listen to music while writing?

  1. Always!

    10 vote(s)
  2. Sometimes

    5 vote(s)
  3. Never.

    0 vote(s)
  4. It depends on my mood.

    4 vote(s)
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  1. I find that writing with music playing is the best way to get it done (and not, say, turn on Twitch and watch live streams instead). But it's so hard for me to find new music to listen to. I can't listen to the same songs over and over before it just kills any creativity it offered. And some songs just don't work it for me. My creative drives are too picky for it.

    What kind of music do you listen to when you write, and why? Does it correlate with the genre of writing (action music for a fast paced scene, older instrumentals, period music, etc.)? Or do you just listen to whatever happens to be on, or whatever type of music you like best? And vocals; do you have to have a song with vocals, one without, or does it not matter?
  2. I usually find songs with minimal, simplistic, or no lyrics tend to help me focus on singular tasks better. If there's lyrics or moving pictures (ex: a video) it consumes too much of my concentration to appropriately multitask with creative activities such as writing, seeing as how my brain will be trying to understand what they're saying/doing consciously. Ergo I'll tend towards electronic house mixes or folk/theme music, since it lacks lyrics and focuses purely on the arrangement of sounds to produce something musical. Orchestral sometimes when I'm in the mood, or classical since it focuses on evoking emotion through instrumental arrangements rather than lyrcs. Game Soundtracks are also amazing at this task, and come in a large variety of emotional flavours.

    I find it's best to try and sync the general feeling of what I'm listening to, to what I'm writing. So I would probably listen to that celtic mix when describing something like magic or nature, or the soundtrack to Oblivion when describing something epic in scale. Electronic house more for futuristic or punk environments, and classical when I'm aiming for the posh, or Victorian.

    There is a lot of music out there for inspiration. You just have to know where to look. :ferret:
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  3. I usually listen to music, get inspired to write a post, then use that music as mood music. Otherwise, I write without it. I spent most of my time not listening to music at all.
  4. Well the truth is I'm always listening to music, regardless of what I'm doing, so yes, I inherently listen to music while writing. Only rarely do I ever cater the music to the writing, as it's usually just whatever type of music I was listening to prior to me beginning writing.
  5. Everything @Brovo said. Perfectly worded, too.

    Aside from that, I tend to layer music with ambience. When I wrote my short science fiction novel, I put an hour-long loop of the ambience engine sound from the Normandy under the music, so that it was audible through the soundtracks. It works wonders when it comes to invoking feelings, or a particular mood.

    Rain ambience, along with thunder and forest ambience, is what I usually use. Skyrim also has some amazing ambience that I frequently use.
  6. I always listen to music while writing. It's the best way to drown out distractions (both external and internal) that sometimes are too annoying to ignore. I don't exactly need music to write, but I vastly prefer to have it when possible.

    I do indeed listen to specific mood/genre appropriate music as well, both with lyrics and without. I go a step deeper though: I make playlists for specific roleplay characters by going through my music collection and picking out things that are suitable, fitting them to the genre, overall tone of the roleplay, and the character's personality. When I'm writing a post for a roleplay, I'll usually go put on that character's playlist to get into the right mood for it, often by putting the single most fitting song on repeat. Other times, like when I don't have a song that really fits the tone I want or if the character is behaving in unusual ways, I'll instead go hit up one of my genre/mood playlists. If even that doesn't feel right I go for my final option of listening to epic sweeping instrumental things like E.S. Posthumus, because it kind of works for everything and it almost always kick starts my desire to write. In the rare times that writing something still doesn't feel right after trying all those things, then I just say fuck it and go do something else for a minimum of half an hour. I can force myself to write passable things even if I'm not feeling it, but I generally dislike the product of such effort so I don't bother with it nowadays.
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  7. I'm also one of the ones who listens to music when writing. However, I don't feel like I intentionally use music to really set up a writing mood. When I write I tend to listen to psybient music, ie: Carbon Based Lifeforms, H.U.V.A Network, etc. While I would consider such music to fit more into the sci-fi genre, I listen to it while writing pretty much anything. For me, writing a post with an accompanying soundtrack designed to get me into the mindset tends to come out worse more often then not. While writing about something like an action sequence while listening to a sweet cinematic soundtrack may be awesome at the time, I find that generally the awesomeness isn't portrayed in the writing as much as when I was in the process of writing it. In fact when I do things like that I tend to write too much fluff. The purpose of the music to me aligns much with what Jorick said about drowning out distractions. So while the music undoubtedly still has an impact on my writing, I tend not to use it for the explicit purpose of influencing my writing.

    Plus I feel people may use music as a crutch to set up a mood for thier writing, which may work against itself. The reader won't be hearing the music as they read, so really your words alone should be able to set up that mood. So while your listening to music to put you in the mood, you may not be putting enough focus into your words to create that mood. Of course different writing styles for different people and all that jazz.
    #7 Atlas Child, May 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2015
  8. I will if it's a big scene going on, or if it's music I feel will really help with the scene in question.
    But not generally.

    Though when I do, it's always instrumental/without lyrics.
    And almost always is it a Video game soundtrack.
    #8 Gwazi Magnum, May 15, 2015
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
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  9. I definitely listen to music while writing, but I only bother to make it theme appropriate sometimes. Mostly, I listen to stuff by the Glitch Mob, as it doesn't have lyrics and, well, I just like glitch hop. Fortune Days and Animus Vox are my choices for action scenes, a Dream within a Dream is good for quieter scenes, and I find We Can Make the World Stop work oddly well when writing description, like I've been doing all morning.
  10. More often than not, I don't have music going. If I do, I have it down to background noise and most of the time nothing in particular, just a randomized playthrough of my library. Although, if I'm really trying to concentrate, I usually stick with instrumental stuff.
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  11. I'll usually listen to music while writing-but it will always be similar to the tone of what I'm writing. In fact, I think it actually enhances my writing by building up an atmosphere similar to the one that the characters are experiencing.
  12. It depends on the rp, and what I have going on. If I'm playing out a scene where my character is depressed or upset about something, I will listen to music that saddens me to get myself in the mood. If I'm writing out a fight scene, I listen to something aggressive to help me choreograph the moves inside my head. Other than that, I try to avoid music because it distracts me.
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