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Favorite Writing Music

Ordinarily I like writing in pure silence but when that's not an option (which is most of the time) my fall backs are listening to rain or (with Fantasy) the following
  • Corvus Corax (Gimlie & Sverker are my favorite albums)
  • Arcana
  • Medieavel Babes
  • Libera
  • Apocalyptica (their Metallica covers are spectacular)
  • Luciano Pavarotti
  • The Village & Braveheart Soundtrack(s)
  • And a bunch of Latin hymns from my gregorian chant cds

I find it helps put me in a different mindset (one where contractions do not exist) where I can shut off my daily life and lose myself in writing.

Do you listen to music while writing? And if so, what are your go-to bands or albums?


Myth Weaver
Oh... I've just discovered Hildegard of Bigen [YouTube].
It doesn't fit my story's period or tone but I think the sounds and the emotions it evokes help me write.
Or things like this Kodo Drummers/ing [YouTube] when I'm brainstorming...
I tend to get into both action or emotion through good dubstep, but I don't really have any one genre that does it for me. All I need is a song that is good enough to pull me in, something slow that has good tempo, good samples, good voices etc. just anything to make it special.

When I get into writing I don't really pay much conscious attention to the music though, I see that I've progressed down my playlist, so I know that I've listened to a number of songs, but I can't say I really remember listening to them. Good music does help me get into the mood to write,and I will cycle through songs until I find one or more that makes me feel in a way that's fittign for the scene I want to write. Sometimes I will make a short list of three to ten songs (or even just 1 dong) and put it on repeat.


The music I put on is dependent more on the characters I'm writing about. I actually try pretty hard to find appropriate theme songs for each character.
I like rock n roll for the driving fast beat. It helps me to keep a good pace and in a great flow. That and it helps drown out some excess noise.


Article Team
Don't really listen to music. Usually it's the silence of the library or the rumblings of background noise at some public place, like the mall foodcourt or McDonalds.


Article Team
I very rarely don't listen to music, regardless of whether I'm writing or not.
Depending on what mood I'm writing I'll pick different kinds of music, but I try to go with something that fits either the mood of the scene I'm working on, or the personality of the character.

I've set up a playlist for the current character I'm working on, picking out songs that should suit her personality. It's mostly dark electronic stuff, but it also has the odd happier song - because she's got her cheerful moments too.

Edit: Spotify Link
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I just put on white noise to drown out everything else. Music would be devastatingly distracting. I'd start analysing it. (that upbeat was a strange place to start a triplet; was that a dotted eighth-note at the end of that phrase?; did they just snip a quarter note off that last bar?; was that a suspended second or a suspended fourth I just heard?; was that passing chord diminished?; etc.)

I couldn't possibily get any writing done with my head full of these kinds of things.
I usually stick w instrumental or stuff in other languages. It sounds silly but 1/2 the time I put on music that I know I can tune out.

Which is why I can never listen to rock when writing - I'd end up singing along or getting distracted by it (enter Apocalyptica).
I usually stick w instrumental or stuff in other languages. It sounds silly but 1/2 the time I put on music that I know I can tune out.

Which is why I can never listen to rock when writing - I'd end up singing along or getting distracted by it (enter Apocalyptica).

Perhaps that's why I find dubstep fitting, not much singing in that either


I feel the same way about music with lyrics, or at lyrics I can understand.

For normal writing I use basic classical, I am working through Hayden's string quartets at the moment. Also enjoy (like folks above) Kodo and Gregorian chants. Depending on the scene there is usually an opera that will do the trick as well.

When I am short on energy I will go to Queen, the Clash or Midnight oil.

And nothing can get me stoked to write a battle scene better than the great Welsh song, Men of Harlech (made famous in the movie Zulu):

I do find that the songs I use are those songs that I like the best at the moment, or sometimes it's the music I have a craving for. Right now, the songs I've been using lately are turning a little stale, so I'll go on a dubstep hunt soon. Too bad it's quite difficult to find good dubstep.


Article Team
There's an older thread for sharing current favourite songs here: http://mythicscribes.com/forums/chit-chat/1524-what-do-you-listen-59.html

Specifically talking about writing music is kind of interesting in its own regard though. When sitting down to write I can listen to pretty much anything that fits the mood of the piece I'm writing, regardless of genre, and regardless of whether there are lyrics or just instrumental pieces. As long as the overall feel of the sing matches the story, it will work.
A lot of the time for me, the lyrics meld with the rest of the music and become like an instrument of its own. I snatch up words and phrases here and there, but it's rare that I get distracted by the lyrical content (is that how you call it, the story of the song?). It's also not so much about the technical quality of the music as about the emotion that comes with it. Sure, I appreciate a skilled singer or guitarist, but the passion of the musicians or the raw energy of the sound can be just as valuable to me. In the end, it's all about what feels good.

When trying to come up with ideas for things I tend to go with things that send my mind wandering. Usually this is either old favourites of various kinds, or modern electronic dance music.
For this I particularly enjoy the more psychedelic genres, the ones with a simple repetitive beat accompanied by interesting soundscapes, ideally without lyrics and not necessarily with melodies.
Have you heard of Massive attack? Psychedelic, check. Melodic, check.

I think it's a wonderful band that makes the most balanced music that I've ever heard.


Dark ambient and gaming music has been my favorite to write to (Jeremy Soule!). But recently, "Come Undone" by Duran Duran and "Toy Soldiers" by Martika have been added to my WIP's soundtrack.

SD Stevens

Depends what I'm writing but its usually my favourite artist, Joe Bonamassa, Scott Stap, Within Temptation, Metallica, then all the older rock bands :D

BUT sometimes when I'm writing darker stuff I like to listen to Disturbed, kill-switch engaged, story of the year, that kind of stuff. I have play list too, which I'm going to go utilise right now and get off the internet :p