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Thread: Best music for writing fantasy?

  1. #11
    Oh wow... music I use can range from industrial, oldies, goofy modern dance songs, pop, bellydance accompanyment, opera, classical, various movie soundtrack bits (the ones that are less recognizable, but still very lovely or inspiring, so I don't get the movie popping up in my head while I work), or soft instrumental depending on what it's needed for. I love my iPod so very, very much. I'll end up with playlists for books, characters, particular scenes. I particularly like making a mix that one of my modern fantasy characters or another would actually listen to. Sometimes this can be hilarious, and it almost always helps me get to know my character. For sword and sorcery style fantasy I tend to like Loreena McKennit quite a bit, for starters. I also have some Gregorian chant, medieval instrumental from the French courts, or sometimes I can get some kind of new age-y music to fit. If I currently needed more I would probably try to use Loreena McKennit's name in one of those "help me find songs like this" programs you can find (like the one attached to iTunes, if you use that, I forget the name). Of course, it always depends on the mood I want and the scene I'm specifically working on that sitting.

  2. #12
    Administrator Black Dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravana View Post
    AYou might find instrumentals work better if you can't background the lyrics; for me, though, they aren't distracting
    Hey Ravana!

    Welcome to the community. I've been enjoying some of your posts.

    I'm in the camp that prefers instrumental music when writing. Either that, or the vocals are in a language that I can't understand (Latin, Gaelic, etc). If I hear and comprehend the lyrics, it becomes harder to transport myself into my special world.

  3. #13
    Administrator Black Dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie Schwartz View Post
    For sword and sorcery style fantasy I tend to like Loreena McKennit quite a bit, for starters.
    Hi Valerie!

    I'm not familiar with Loreena McKennit. What kind of music is she known for? Is she a singer?

  4. #14
    Moderator Ravana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Dragon View Post
    Welcome to the community. I've been enjoying some of your posts.
    Thanks, and thanks.

    For me, whether or not lyrics interfere with my thinking usually comes down to familiarity: if it's a song I know well, it parses about the same way instrumental music does, and often results in a very "comfortable" state. I can see where different people would react differently, though. The most important thing for me is to kill any spoken voice input: it becomes difficult not only to write, but even to read, if I can distinguish speech from background noise.

  5. #15
    Loreena McKennitt's music is called "eclectic Celtic" on her website, though some of my favorite stuff has touches of middle eastern and spanish flavor from some travelling she'd done. They are vocals with accoustic sounding instrumental, and sometimes her lyrics come from poems or themes from fairy tales or old Celtic myths. Luckily, her voice is very gentle. I can let the whole thing be background while I work, or I can take one of the songs ("The Bonny Swan" comes to mind) and enjoy the brief story.

  6. #16
    Administrator Black Dragon's Avatar
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    Was it Lorena Mckennitt who recorded a haunting version of "Bonny Portmore?" They used to use it a lot in the Highlander TV Series.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Dragon View Post
    Was it Lorena Mckennitt who recorded a haunting version of "Bonny Portmore?" They used to use it a lot in the Highlander TV Series.
    Yeah, I think it very well might be. I'd have to pull out some Highlander DVDs to be sure. Haunting definitely describes the effect she can put out there, at times. Beautiful.

  8. #18
    Summoning. The end. Honestly, what else can compare? A band that owes its entire existence to Tolkien and is capable of basing a song around the Cottage of Lost Play surely deserves a mention, even if only a tiny percentage of humans will ever listen to them? They are my paving-stones through life; if at some point I meander, the distant star we aim for remains the same.
    Last edited by At Dusk I Reign; 2-17-11 at 4:59 PM. Reason: I edit therefore I am...

  9. #19
    Junior Member willg71's Avatar
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    To be honest I don't think I ever used music to write. SCULPTING, Oh ya, I don't think I could I could go on a 48 hour sculpting bender without music but writing? I need structure when I write plus I tend to talk aloud for my characters, particularly if the conversation is heated or manic. My upstairs neighbor thinks I'm a schizophrenic sociopath. I tend to have too much going on in my head and the music becomes a chaotic distraction. There's nothing I hate more than gasping a difficult concept for a story, only to loose it do to a tune in my head, distracting me from my goal. Works great for sculpting though, my style thrives of chaos and happy mistakes. I guess you could say literature and art are like my Jeckle and Hyde scenarios.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by willg71 View Post
    To be honest I don't think I ever used music to write. SCULPTING, Oh ya
    What music best facilitates sculpting?

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