1. Jabby J
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    Jabby J Member

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    Writing Music

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Jabby J, Nov 4, 2011.

    What does everyone tend to listen to when they write? I tend to give either Deftones or PJ Harvey a spin since they are both very moody. Or if there is no way I can have music I love writing in a busy room like a cafeteria full of people. How about you?
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I enjoy the silence. Can't write well with music, people talking or any other kind of distraction.
     
  3. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    Listening to music can affect how and what you write. Music might induce certain emotions and feelings, which can make your brain come up with strong and/or emotional scenes derived from those emotions. It can also make you more enthusiastic and eager to write for a certain amount of time.
    I am not sure but since music can call out emotions and that affects how you write, won't that make you write the music you are listening to into your work through words you come up with because of the emotions and feelings you perceive? And therefore making the story not as original? It is something I have been thinking about since I have gotten these bursts of creativity from listening to music. But, still, to me it feels more right if I can think in silence, having my own thoughts without any influence.

    Music can be a powerful tool if known how to use it. Could even be used as a motivator if you don't feel like writing at a moment.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I prefer silence. If I must have music, I like classical, most particularly Beethoven's piano sonatas. They're random enough to almost count as white noise when I'm not paying attention to them (no offense, Ludwig!).

    Rock or pop music, especially dance music, is intolerable for me because it is so strongly rhythmic that it takes over the rhythms of my prose. I can't stand that. I can't stand it when what I write doesn't sound like me when I read it aloud.

    So if I must write to music, give me something fairly abstract and ambient, that won't ruin what I'm trying to do in my writing.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with minstrel. Anything other than silence is a distraction. However, since my computer and writing desk are in the same room as the television, and my wife likes watching the tube, I sometimes have to put headphones on with music in order to write. I usually like Mozart, because I find it soothing, or Bach, but I will also sometimes listen to Sibelius, Vivaldi or Debussy, depending on my mood (if I listen to Beethoven, I stop writing and just listen). When I was writing a novel about a group of musicians who in middle age had reunited as a band, the MC was also a high school orchestra director. Any time I was writing about what her students were playing, I listened to whatever it was they were playing in the story.

    This has other applications besides writing. In my day job, I'm an auditor for the government. On a recent work site, one of my coworkers had a portable radio with which he liked to listen to Rush Limbaugh. I can't abide talk radio of any kind (all that shouting!), but this guy was just off the charts. The first day, as soon as I heard that querulous voice spilling out into the room, I turned to him and said, "Sorry, I can't work with that." He turned it off, but then anytime I went out for lunch, it was on when I came back. I would then make a show of taking out my portable CD player and noise-suppression headphones, and the radio was usually off by the time my first selection started playing. Sometimes I kept listening anyway.
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I have a playlist of music to write to. It's all instrumental stuff, some classical, but mostly film and TV soundtracks. I use them a lot because they are designed to fit certain particular moods and atmospheres, and I can use them to affect my frame of mind to steer my writing towards what I want.
     
  7. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    I'm strongly influenced by what I'm hearing while I write. I also can't write while hearing words.

    I usually use the music I need for what I want to write: piano jazz, happy hardcore, dubstep, classic piano, chillout,...
     
  8. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    A fantastic idea that I'll certainly use.
     
  9. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    I agree and disagree... I do believe that music can alter your direction creatively. I use certain music to write to for darker pieces (Wumpscut, NIN, Ministry, etc), mysterious/sensual pieces (Portishead, Fionna Apple), contemporary pieces (classic rock). I disagree about it leading to a decrease in originality. Music may alter your direction a little, but you are still the one behind the wheel. ;)
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    One of the problems I have with listening to rock while I'm writing, or any other rhythmically strong and harmonically simple music, is that, as a keen guitarist, I'm always tempted to stop writing, grab my guitar, and jam along with the music. It's kind of like trying to do difficult work when there's a party going on in the next room - you want to stop working and join the party.

    Silence is best. It's the only thing that doesn't distract me from writing.
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Double post.
     
  12. OriginalUsername211
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    OriginalUsername211 New Member

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    I tend to listen to either the Beatles or classical music (mainly Dvoƙak or Tchaikovsky) when I write. When I'm in the middle of a very intense or climatic scene, however, the music often becomes a distraction and I turn it off.
     
  13. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    I prefer to listen to music rather than sitting in silence because I find the music helps to ease writers block. The music I listen to tends to be more instrumental because, like others have stated, lyrics can become distracting.

    Lately I've been listening to a lot of Kavinsky and My Morning Jacket.
     
  14. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    If I do listen to music, I tend to stay away from songs with lyrics. It's occurred more than once when I've been writing a school paper and the lyrics sneak their way into the sentence. (One of the most awkward occurrences was when I was writing a paper on WWII. I was listening to some classic Disney songs, yes, Disney, and the lyrics of Mulan's "I'll Make a Man Out of You" found their way into the topic of my essay, "The United States chose correctly to enter World War II to defeat the Huns." I'm not sure when it was more awkward, when I noticed it myself the day before the paper was due or when my friend spotted the lyrics that day when I almost handed it in early. He probably saved me an entire letter grade!) From experience, song lyrics tend not to fit the subject. Instead, I listen to instrumental jazz, mainly piano-based. It's a healthy addiction, in my opinion, and it keeps me moving and typing along.
     
  15. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I write in complete silence.

    But when I brainstorm ideas for my book, I do it to classical music while taking an absurdly hot and long shower. The whole ordeal is extremely relaxing, and for some reason opens my mind up. Afterwards, I am ready to write for hours. I would do the same thing in a jacuzzi if I had one; and now that I think about, I would prefer a jacuzzi.
     
  16. Gracia Bee
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    Gracia Bee Member

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    I write to music that I can't sing alond to. It distracts me otherwise
     
  17. Jabby J
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    Jabby J Member

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    Couldn't have said it better myself.
     

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