I had an English teacher who did an ‘experiment’ with us and had us write to different types of music. Of course, I don’t remember the music now, but I remembered how the different paces of music effected my writing. I guess it’s no surprise then, that some years later, I find that music still holds power of me.
Here are my top three categories and how to use them to impact writing:
1. Mood Music (i.e. Soundtracks without lyrics)
Mood music can match your current mood or the mood of the scene you’re setting. Soundtracks are diverse in sounds, rhythms, and instrumentation, but they set the scenes in movies (love scenes, background filler, dramatic tension, and action scenes) and are a perfect backdrop for when you’re writing a similar scene. Personally, I love listening to soundtracks on shuffle when I’m brainstorming plot ideas.
My favorite composers (in no particular order): Howard Shore, Hans Zimmerman, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Nubuo Uematsu, and James Horner.
2. Instrumental/Electronic Music (Upbeat with minimal lyrics)
The steady, rhythmic beats resonate with the need to steadily work and for an extended amount of time. This was my music genre of choice during NaNoWriMo (especially on make-up days) because I knew that I was going to have a long writing session in order to hit my word count goals.
My top artists (in no particular order): The Glitch Mob, Lindsey Sterling, Blue Man Group, and AWOLNATION.
3. Favorite Bands and Singers (Songs with lyrics)
This is the music genre that you would listen to when you aren’t writing. The vocal melodies and the instrumental rhythms can provide the motivation you need to write a lot in a short amount of time (like during word sprints). This is my ‘fun’ music and I can still write productively without being distracted by the lyrics.
My current top bands on my playlist (in no particular order): Pierce the Veil, Icon for Hire, Marquis of Vaudeville, My Chemical Romance, ONE OK ROCK, and Skillet.
Readers, what is your favorite music genre? Writers, is there a music genre that you find particularly helpful?