1. hughesj
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    hughesj Member

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    Listening to music while writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hughesj, Jul 28, 2013.

    Do any of you listen to music while writing? Or do you find it too distracting?

    I know several people who absolutely cannot write with any background noise and other distractions. I find that sometimes listening to music helps me get in the mood of the scene I'm writing (if the song is right). Other times the song is just too good to be 'background music' and I end up getting distracted. What are your opinions?
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Yes I do. I can listen to pretty much anything while writing but I prefer to listen to orchestral music...but I understand why people would get distracted.
     
  3. Robin Murarka
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    Robin Murarka Member

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    I usually listen to music when I do just about anything. However when I try to write fiction, and I'm serious about it, I do not listen to music. I need the characters in the story to drive the mood and the music I may be listening to will slowly conflict with that.

    Sometimes if there is a scene that is very hard to write I will play music to try to mimic the mood of the scene so it flows more readily. But then when I go and edit it I do not listen to the music again.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I seem to remember we had another similar thread going a short while back, about listening to music. It was fun to read.

    Yes, I often listen to music, but it HAS to be classical, and is usually classical guitar or chamber music. I love classical music (and lots of other kinds of music as well) but when I write I need something that will A) drown out distractions, and B) not interfere with my ability to think.

    Classical guitar is great for this, as is chamber music. It's relatively even-toned, without the sturm and drang of things like symphonies, but it also lacks 'catchy tunes' which will be distracting.

    I can NOT write with anybody singing. Anything.

    Funny, because I'm also an artist, and find it wonderful to listen to all kinds of music while I'm working on drawings or paintings, and that includes singing. Everything from rock music, traditional music, reggae, world music, classical music. It helps me to concentrate on what I'm doing! Go figure...
     
  5. Mr.Knight
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    Mr.Knight New Member

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    I write while I listen to music too. However, the type of music depends on the type of scene I am currently writing. If it is action paced, I will play a Hans Zimmer track from the Dark Knight rises. A more lighter scene, perhaps between a husband and wife will have lighter music. It is strange that I can write with music, but put someone in the room with me and my mind goes blank.
     
  6. hughesj
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    hughesj Member

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    true, but i often find that more upbeat songs can get me writing an upbeat scene a lot better, otherwise it seems too relaxed. I also usually tune out the singing and it just blends in with the rest of the music when im concentrating. Especially if it is a song that I listen to a lot
     
  7. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I can't do it. When I go to write it's radio, tv, phone OFF!
     
  8. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    generally, Yes i do listen to it, and im very particular about the type of music it is that i listen to when im writing certain things... im trying to type something up with my nans classical music playing, but its distracting, so i may have to get my headphones back on and listen to some metal to get me back on track
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most of the time I listen to music when I write, I just vary the volume setting. Currently, when I want to feel chilled out, I listen to Angie Stone's early albums or Alicia Keys, when I want something moody, it's Nick Cave's new "Push the Sky Away" and when I want something edgy and stimulating, it's Beady Eye's new album "BE".
     
  10. hughesj
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    hughesj Member

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    wow... Hans Zimmer. I decided to go and listen to the 'Crimson Tide' soundtrack tonight while writing. Definitely up my work rate
     
  11. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Lot's of Handel, and Brahms, with a spattering of Bach, Vivaldi, Schubert, Schumann, Debussy, Grieg, Chopin, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky to name a few.

     
  12. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't listen to music - the rhythm is too distracting. However, I do have the TV on for white noise - absolute silence drives me up a wall.
     
  13. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I tend to write in complete silence, or as close to it as I can get being in close proximity to a motorway, a railway line and a flight path to an international airport.

    I do use music to provoke certain emotions, but never when I'm writing. I find it too distracting.
     
  14. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    Very rarely do I write while listening to music. I usually alternate between writing and a piece of music appropriate to what I'm writing. Sometimes, I just turn the volume down a bit. That way, it's not completely silent - so random small noises don't bother me - and so that the mood setting music is still in the background.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    when writing about a place i've been, such as greece, italy, or mexico, i've put on instrumentals [bazouki/mandolin/mariachi music] to 'take me back there'...

    but i never write while vocals are playing, since the words get in the way of the ones i have to put on the page...
     
  16. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think it's safe to say that I and KaTrian never write without music playing in the background. We have specific playlists for each WIP and the contents of the playlists vary depending on the story's setting. For example, our current WIP is a space adventure / military sci-fi piece, so we have lots of ambient and darker metal / noise on the playlist (anything from Gnaw Their Tongues to Merzbow to Bolt Thrower etc) or if it's a medieval fantasy, we listen to anything from renaissance music (think John Dowland, Luiz de Narvaez etc) to "fantasy" metal alá Arkona (the Russian pagan metal outfit, not the... Polish [?] black metal band), Ensiferum etc.

    We find that music adds to the atmosphere of the writing process, especially if we have a specific song for a specific scene.
     
  17. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    I made a Pandora channel called "Yo Yo Ma" and it plays very repetitive classical music that I can ignore. Otherwise, I tend to want to listen to the music, rather than write. :)
     
  18. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    have you thought to try Symphony X for the last one. Particularly their albums Iconoclast and Paradise Lost.... id highly recommend that band, as they are one band i listen to a lot. my current playlist is those albums and Nevermore's song Enemies Of Reality. and epic song!
     
  19. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    Create a playlist for every WIP - I do that too!
     
  20. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    Sorry. Accidental double post.
     
  21. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    Since I'm writing in Afghanistan I was originally writing at work. I work at night and not much happens, but it was hard to tune out Afghans talking (they're the loudest people I've ever met, and I've been to Italy). I tried listening to music but I listen to lyrical music that would distract me. Then someone on this forum suggested music without any lyrics. I will never go back. With the music in the backround I have noticed a sharp increase in productivity.

    I listen to mostly folk type music as I'm writing a fantasy novel. Celtic folk, Norwegian folk, also have the LOTR soundtrack. I will see if classical suits my tastes in the future.
     
  22. Mr.Knight
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    Mr.Knight New Member

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    The soundtrack to Crimson Tide is amazing, I have listened to it a few times.
     
  23. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I know of the band but haven't listened to them yet. I'll check 'em out, thanks for the heads up.

    Btw, This Dying Soul is one of my fave DT songs.
     
  24. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    You will love Symphony X if you Like DT :)
     
  25. Thom
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    Thom Member

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    Usually orchestra. Mainly movie soundtracks that have a powerful, emotional cadence.
     

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