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The Perfect Writing Music

December 4, 2011

Do you listen to music whilst you write? I remember in school classmates used to tell me they couldn’t do homework without music playing in the background.

I never really got that until I started writing novels, and now I need the damn stuff on all the time.

It’s probably different for everyone; but I just can’t listen to music with lyrics. I just end up typing those out instead of my novel, or get all distracted and confused. I’ve always preferred movie soundtracks, or classical music. Right now, I am having the World’s Greatest Classical Music Binge (inextricably tied to Editing Is Hard, Cry Moar in my case).

It ranges from trailer music (from the likes of X-Ray Dog and Two Steps From Hell) to movie soundtracks from our old friend Hans Zimmer (does anyone not love that guy?), and today there was a lot of Beethoven and Bach thrown in. As well as an unexpected Ride of the Valkyries, which was loud enough to make me jump out of my seat.

But there is an all-time great. When everything else fails, and I just hate this essay I’m meant to be doing. Pull out a bit of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture(the Finale, duh). Google it, now, if you don’t recognise it right off.

I dare you to listen to that and not feel like you can burst mountains apart with your new LASER EYES OF AWESOME. I mean, this man wrote a cannon solo. A solo for cannons. As in the big gun things.

Also, it is OK to conduct along with the music. Enthusiastically. That’s not dorky at all. Good.

I know Willow over at Lemon City uses music whilst writing a particularly moving or kick-ass scene as inspiration, which also sounds like a neat idea.

What about you guys? Do you find this classical rant totally boring, and chill out to some dubstep? Something whacky? Surprise me.

A few extra favourites:

A beautiful cover of The Dragonborn Comes from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

And because it’s Christmas, Sergei Prokofiev’s Troika. If this music doesn’t make you smile by 0:30, I cease to believe you are human.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2011 3:08 am

    Here’s one I came across on the Escapist recently.

    And I usually write with Radio 4 on. No idea why.

    • December 4, 2011 2:36 pm

      Oh, that violin piece is gorgeous (and beautifully filmed!)

      Radio 4 is amazing, that’s why. I listen to their podcasts when I’m pottering around the house. Because Melvyn Bragg’s voice.

    • December 11, 2011 6:17 pm

      SHE IS TOO CUTE FOR WORDS. And what an amazing performer. I want to know where she lives to have such a beautiful setting at hand. Wish I could jump around in the mountains dressed in cosplay to a violin piece I’d performed! Thank you for sharing.

      And Mitch, we STILL need to swap soundtacks. Like Nier. Plz <3

  2. December 4, 2011 5:27 pm

    For my dissertation novel, surprisingly Fall Out Boy is the best pieces of music. I know a lot of people aren’t big on lyric based music to write to, but words in songs help me get words out of my poor saggy brain.
    And Fall Out Boy really gets the right mood.

    • December 4, 2011 5:58 pm

      That’s interesting – and their lyrics are always well-written and inspiring.
      I do love those boys so.
      And cripes, I want to read your novel so bad *jumps up and down* Your ideas are epic.


  1. Two Steps From Hell – Inspiring Music « Turn the Page

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