What sort of music captures your writing?

What sort of music best captures the feel of your writing?

Writing fuel!
Writing fuel!

I don’t mean ‘what do you listen to when writing’ – I mean, if your writing were music, what would the style be? Blues? Jazz? Funk? Classical? Musique concrete?

And does that music change with different writing? Mine does.

Call it literary kinesthesia. It’s an interesting thought. And is anybody going to mention Edgard Varese? Well?

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016


10 thoughts on “What sort of music captures your writing?

  1. Wow, that’s a challenge Matthew!
    As my characters negotiate their way through persecutions, trials threats, and self-discovery, it would have to be a symphony of some sort. Not the man you mentioned though, someone who could combine the plaintive, with dramatic and threatening. Tchaichovsky comes to mind… but then so does Beethoven.
    So, as I start book 5 in the series, I will be wondering what music represents it LOL

  2. I’d definitely say that it changes with different kinds of writing. Sometimes I will find the music that fits the story after I’ve written the story.

    For example I’ve got a novella I’m working out a few bugs for that I would definitely classify as a “techno” story if we’re going to attach a musical genre to it. I discovered an album by Information Society that is honestly almost the soundtrack of the story and I didn’t find the album until after I wrote the first few drafts…

  3. I’m currently writing the soundtrack to my books, but since I can’t play an instrument or read music it’s slow going. (Okay, there’s today’s quip.)

    I listen to a wide variety of music while writing. Most often I want it in sync with my work, but on occasion contrast works better. The contrasts wouldn’t work as a soundtrack, though. If I restrict this topic to my fantasy fiction then the soundtrack is still quite varied and difficult to define without listing hundreds of tracks that cross many different genres. Yet, to me, they work well together. What might you find? Bach, Beethoven, Pachelbel, Beatles, Zeppelin, Clannad, Alison Krauss, Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, Loreena McKennitt, Moody Blues, Linda Ronstadt, Sarah Brightman, Within Temptation, Tarja, Hozier, Bat for Lashes, Kerli, Pink Floyd…

  4. I guess one way of approaching this would be to ask: If this book were made into a movie, what sort of music would be a good soundtrack? I’ve actually incorporated music that I was listening to while I wrote some of my books into the plots of those books, i.e., my characters attend concerts at which certain pieces are performed. But of course that’s not always possible. Specifically, music that is important in one or more of my books: J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Loreena McKennit’s Mask and the Mirror, Thomas Tallis’s Spem in alium, Shostakovich’s Jazz Waltz no. 2. And I’ve written (but as yet not published) an entire novel about Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle.

      1. A good book (including non-fiction with a continuous narrative) is like a mind-movie. So a musical soundtrack makes sense. And on the other hand, a lot of orchestral music especially sounds like “movie music.”

        1. Yes, it does. I know ballet music (for instance) is written to be emotionally incomplete – the completion comes from the dance & I guess that’s true of much movie music. Also, come to think of it, of chamber music, which was written specifically as background texture to dinner conversations. It’s an interesting concept because it suggests that ‘book music’ would have to be the same – emotionally incomplete with the emotion from the words filling the gap.

  5. It definitely changes with the story being written. I have a short story that is definitely light pop. My current WIP is more sweeping vistas of classical with a touch of folk, like Edvard Grieg.

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