View Full Version : What type of music gives you inspiration?

03-30-2011, 01:54 AM
I usually listen to music while writing just for some background noise, but some songs just tend to make themselves more present than others.

So what type of music inspires you? A certain band? Song? Instrumental? Indie? Rap? (I think you guys are getting the picture.)

Since my writing tends to involve a female character and it is usually a more middle ages / fantasy type story style I really enjoy the song Into The Night - by Nickelback (I don't care for the video, but here it is if you want to see it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ9nQNx0KEs)

Edit: I also enjoy music that is vocalizing and Irish instrumental. Enya isn't too bad, and I do enjoy the cello piece played by Yo Yo Mach - Bach Cello Suite #1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZn_VBgkPNY&feature=related)

03-30-2011, 02:53 AM
Ooo, I write with music too. Most of the time anyway.

It really depends on the mood of the story for me. My current WIP is a gothic, vampire story. So a lot of the music I listen to is the same, like Lacuna Coil.

But, shocking as it may seem, I can listen to a lot of different things. I love listening to classic 80's soft rock like Phil Collins while I write. 'In the Air Tonight' just matches a lot of the story scenes.

03-30-2011, 03:11 AM
I listen to a lot of stuff, too, but it's more to keep myself focused on the writing. Listening to music, I can concentrate on only two things: the music and the writing. I very rarely use it to set mood, but with my current WIP, I'm listening to a lot of 80's music since it's set in 1984 - 1985.

03-30-2011, 04:01 AM
Definitely listen to music that goes with the period--Pandora the radio station is extremely helpful that way. Lately some Opera to wake up my sleepy soul, but not to write to. Currently I listen to what "Anonymous Italian" brings me, but have other stations for Jazz or Swing to set the mood.

03-30-2011, 04:09 AM
Whatever my new obsession is. I tend to find a song I really like, explore the artist for a while and then listen to that artist/band obsessively for a few months. Then I move on to something else.

03-30-2011, 04:13 AM
Usually I just listen to whatever to help me concentrate on writing. However, if I need to write perhaps an action scene or something, I turn to various movie or video game soundtracks :D

03-30-2011, 04:14 AM
I can't listen to music *while* I write...but if I'm listening to get warmed up, I want something vocally ehtereal but with depth to the lyrics...not sure that makes sense but, it's about as best I can describe it


03-31-2011, 01:55 PM
I can only write effectively while listening to music. It focuses my thoughts and lets my mind drift into that imaginary space where ideas live. Without it my thoughts tend to fixate on mundane things, and even the smallest outside sound distracts.

Some songs even invoke certain pivotal scenes from my WIP. I even have one or two characters who have their own theme song. That rarely happens, but sometimes a song and a character just clicks to the point where I can't listen to that song without thinking about him or her. If it weren't blatant copyright infringement I could probably put a bunch of songs on a disc and hand them out as my book's official soundtrack.

03-31-2011, 02:47 PM
I too listen to music when I write. It usually coincides with the mood. If there's heartbreak going on in my scene, the music I listen to reflects that and it amps MY emotion up a notch then I can get deeper into the scene. Same with, say an argument--I'll listen to something hard and dark. And if it's smexy? Well nothing like listening to some NIN 'Closer!' HAhaahahaha! The music I choose is a definite conscious decision relating to what I'm going to write at that moment.

03-31-2011, 09:42 PM
I usually make a playlist for each novel, which is a great way to procratsinate on actually writing. However, I think specific songs do help me get into the right mood and mindset to write a character/situation.

04-01-2011, 02:21 AM
It really depends on what I'm writing. I wrote my first script, a serious historical epic, mostly to the sound of a few Ennio Morricone's scores, mostly downbeat, elegiac music because it helped get in the mood of the characters.

Afterwards I wrote a satire to the sound of over-the-top classic music: Beethoven, Mozart, Offenbach. Great stuff :D

The Grump
04-02-2011, 09:03 PM
Music helps me tune out the other noises in the house -- except perhaps when the cat decides it wants attention.

What type of music ... mostly folk [world music?] and some classical. At the moment, I seem to have left the classical guitar stage and moved on to Greek music.

Nick Blaze
04-02-2011, 09:44 PM
I write with music on, usually, and metal, classical, and neo folk are the most inspirational for me.

04-03-2011, 12:38 AM
It depends on what the scene is supposed to accomplish.

If I have an action scene, I'll usually want a soundtrack, like the 11th Doctor's Theme from Doctor Who, The Kraken from PotC, or Hyperspace from Empire Strikes Back. I especially love video game soundtracks, because they're meant to be loopable. I wrote a scene where the characters are jumping among giant gears, and played Theme of Simon Belmont repeatedly. If the characters are sneaking into somewhere, Indiana Jones music works well.

I listened to Theme to Dune, especially the choral version near the movie's end, when imagining my book's fascist Empire and its iconography. It had that perfect sense of European aristocratic pomp with a sinister edge.

When writing about my main character and his Weltschmerz, I prefer sweeping, yearning rock songs with a bitter, slightly-angsty twist like Tonight, Tonight, Sometime Around Midnight, or Welcome to the Black Parade. If the main character is getting his heart broken, then Just Like Heaven is a keeper.

If the more politically-oriented characters are discussing politics, I'll throw on Games Without Frontiers, because not only does it sound foreboding and warmarch-like, it highlights how childish politics really are.

And then, when I'm doing the final revision, I like to put one great song on repeat as I plow through, hoping it'll give my revisions a sense of consistency. For my first book, I used this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFytzNhPsoM
It's so sweeping and adventurous and emotional, it gave my book the perfect tone.

04-03-2011, 02:12 AM
Between my "writing sessions" I like to listen to Heavy Metal or Hardcore. But I can`t write with some music in the background.

04-03-2011, 06:42 AM
Blues. I've got to keep the volume low or I'll pull out a harmonica and start practicing practicing my blues licks, instead of writing.

04-03-2011, 11:14 AM
The Lord of the Rings soundtracks.

Rufus Coppertop
04-03-2011, 02:33 PM
Usually if I'm using music when I write, it's either baroque opera or baroque keyboard music. Sometimes I'll have madrigals, choral music and sometimes mod rock or Dixieland jazz.

Usually I have silence though.

Blues. I've got to keep the volume low or I'll pull out a harmonica and start practicing practicing my blues licks, instead of writing.

Nice to know I'm not the only one! If a chord progression grabs me, I have to abandon the writing and try it out.

That's why I usually have silence.

04-04-2011, 09:59 PM
We sure are an eclectic bunch when it comes to music. Well, I guess when it comes to writing also...and reading choices. Lots and lots of diffrent strokes.

04-11-2011, 01:56 AM
i listen to indie music for inspiration like angus and julia stone, damien rice, joseph arthur, carey brothers, etc. but when it comes to actually writing, i prefer the calm and quiet of the night.

04-11-2011, 03:32 AM
Like Rufus and DaddyO, if I'm listening to music when I write I end up annoying the neighbours with some sensational fret-frottage. And by fret-frottage I mean guitar plunking. And by sensational I mean, well, rubbish.



04-11-2011, 03:06 PM
For High Fantasy,nothing beats X Ray Dog,Audiomachine,Future World Music and Two Steps From Hell. I swear that every word becomes EPIC while writing to these groups.

04-11-2011, 04:16 PM
I listen to many types of music while I write. For me a song just needs a lot of emotion to be inspirational.

04-11-2011, 09:21 PM
I really love country, rock, or anything written by John Williams. Requiem for a dream is really cool.

04-12-2011, 04:13 AM
I listened to 30 Seconds to Mars all through writing and editing my book...what can I say, they are inspirational to me. :idea:

Also Neverending White Lights...Daniel Victor's music is romantic and theatrical...I love using it during action scenes or action scenes. :e2brows:

I also listen to instrumental and soundtrack music for mood setting: Nox Arcana, Hildegard Von Bingen, The Fourth Kind soundtrack, etc.

Whatever fits the mood and gets me inspired I listen to...sometimes I just use a brain wave boosting CD, but that's not exactly music. ;)

04-13-2011, 05:43 PM
I also tend to make a playlist for each project (though I have to admit I usually use "playlist making" as distraction candy). They end up getting a lot of play during revisions.

Recently, I've been pretty much in love with Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy soundtrack. I also listen to a lot of metal and synthpop/futurepop.

Darren Frey
04-13-2011, 05:58 PM
Opeth really inspires me and gets me in the mood to write.

04-13-2011, 06:30 PM
Rock/Hard rock/Metal

"Tool" is one of the bands that inspire me the most.
Lately, I listen to the "Black Keys" a lot.

It really depends...

04-17-2011, 03:44 AM
E.S. Posthumus all the way! Their intrument-based music is so incredibly beautiful. One song will have you soaring over the clouds, feeling the mist buffet your face as you emerge from the other side of the nimbus as a glorious eagle, the sun warming your feathers against the cold crips morning. While another song will have you fighting in the carnage of an epic battle, cutting a swath through the ranks of sword wielding soldiers as you stalk the enemy commander, commanding the scene atop his grand white stallion. Some songs will bring your imagination to life, where you can feel you story and your character on a level most difficult to attain, while other will make you feel proud of your life, of all you've done and all you can still do.
The music brings out the creativity of our souls.

04-17-2011, 05:22 AM
I find I can't listen to anything when I'm doing the "analytical" part of writing--figuring out plot, for example. But in the actual writing, music seems to detach the mind enough to let the subconscious creativity flow. The music has to be familiar enough not to distract but engaging enough to entertain. Mine varies a lot--but in the last novel I wrote mostly Peter Gabriel and Seal; right now it's Little Feat and that great "Muso Ko" album...