The Best of Writing Music. Any Thoughts?

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This topic contains 31 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  R.M. Archer 2 months ago.

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  • #89386

    EricaWordsmith
    @ericawordsmith

      Welp, like the musical child that I am, I’ve been thinking a lot about writing music. Not as in writing music, as in what you listen to when you’re writing. XD I almost cannot write without music. Or study without music. Or a lot of other stuff without music. XD Which is why I can be found singing in almost any situation/if I find a piano my fingers become very itchy and start tapping whatever is in front of me.

      I was wondering, what is everybody’s favorite writing music? Do you have any particular songs that are just favorites for writing? Do you have particular artists for particular stories? How much does music affect your writing? Do you prefer instrumental music or music with lyrics? Soundtracks?? I’m curious as to what other people love to write to as I have been pretty hardcore soundtrack/celtic music for a long time (still am) but am finding it helps to use some other types of music when writing something other than fantasy.

      Rant my friends!! 😀

      Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!

      #89390

      R.M. Archer
      @r-m-archer

      *rubs hands together* I’m also ALWAYS listening to music, so this question is my jam. (Hey look, I can make puns. Who knew.)

      As of a year or two ago, I could only write to music without lyrics, because if a song had lyrics either I wouldn’t know the song well enough so I’d be analyzing the lyrics or I’d know the song too well and I’d be singing along, and that’s too many words for my brain to process at once. That’s when my Epic and Favorite Writing Music playlists were born. They have a lot of Two Steps from Hell, Howard Shore, John Powell, Lindsey Stirling, BrunuhVille… stuff like that. Lots of soundtracks.

      Then I began to choose songs with lyrics that fit my characters and plots and stuff, and what’s the point of having those all saved somewhere if you don’t listen to them? So I started to train my brain to tune out the lyrics and focus on the words coming out of my fingers instead, and trained my mouth some self-control so I’m not constantly singing along (although occasionally there’s some humming). For these, I tend to go to Imagine Dragons first (they have songs to fit just about any story; it’s nuts) and fill in other alternative, pop, the occasional rock song, some calmer stuff I’m not sure how to categorize… if it’s emotion-driven (and what music isn’t?) and it fits my plot and characters, it goes on the story playlist.

      Which sets of artists I have on there the most depends on the tone of the story, because tone is a big thing for me in choosing songs for a story; I’m not going to put rock on my family-based, relationship-driven dystopian because it just doesn’t fit. For my epic fantasy there’s a lot of League of Legends, OneRepublic, Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, and Ruelle. For the dystopian I mentioned, it’s more Owl City, Kurt Hugo Schneider, Anthem Lights, Piano Guys, that kind of thing. For the Wonderland retelling I started with a friend, there’s a lot of quirky music. I started with a bunch of Alice in Wonderland music, of course, and then filled in with artists like Lindsey Stirling, Audiomachine, Eurielle…

      At this point I actually don’t listen to a whole lot of non-lyrical music because I’ve gotten so used to lyrics that songs without tend to bore me faster (which is annoying, because I like them just fine musically and I didn’t get bored with them before), although if they’re mixed in with lyrical music they don’t bother me as much.

      (All of the links I included are to playlists.)

      So… yeah. I listen to a variety. 🙂 My writing music fairly well reflects my general writing tastes, in that I’ll listen to just about any genre as long as I’m okay with the lyrics. (And it should be noted that there are some songs on my epic fantasy playlist that I probably wouldn’t listen to outside of the context of the story, because I don’t agree with them, but they fit the tone of the story. There is still definitely a line drawn–I won’t just listen to anything willy-nilly–but there are some songs on there that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend outside of writing purposes.)

      Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

      #89393

      Veraza Winterknight
      @kari-karast

      I LOVE MUSIC. It’s a lot easier for me to concentrate when it’s instrumental music. But I have made a few character playlists with songs that all have lyrics, and I can write and listen to those for some reason.

      I recently found this album on Spotify called City of the Fallen that’s amazing. It’s my perfect writing music. Completely instrumental btw.

      (ENFP) Even the word hopeless is not entirely devoid of hope.

      #89407

      The Inkspiller
      @the-inkspiller

      Phew.

      Good to find out I’m not alone in needing a soundtrack to my life. Thought I was crazy for a bit!

      For my stuff, it really varies. I’m pretty good at writing even while listening to music with lyrics, and lyrical music often helps me nail the tone of a given story or a character. I’m pretty sure I’m still weird though, because I prefer to listen to single songs on repeat rather than whole playlists when writing – hence how some of my songs have thousands of plays. I don’t really pick and choose specific artists – I find the weirdest stuff on the internet.

      For my villain-protagonist MC, Lady Kyreleis von Gottschalk, I’ve long since used Leslie Fish’s musical rendering of Kipling’s poem “Cold Iron,” to describe her entire character arc; to get into her scheming, melancholic head, I listen to Woodkid’s ‘Iron”, Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”, German medieval folk songs, “Wir sind des Geyers Schwarzer Haufen” and “Die Eisenfaust.”

      For the younger characters, I’ve made use of Imagine Dragons, Christopher Tin, other soundtracks; for one character who tends to be a zealot in everything, I’ve used the Powerwolf song “In the Name of God” – wouldn’t recommend much else by them, they can get uncomfortably sacrilegious.

      Agreed with @r-m-archer on not listening to some of this stuff outside of writing.

       

      Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.

      #89445

      MyClipboardIsMyViolin
      @myclipboardismyviolin

      I’ve used the Powerwolf song “In the Name of God” – wouldn’t recommend much else by them, they can get uncomfortably sacrilegious.

      True, this. *shudders*

      I’m nearly always listening to music when I can get away with it. Lots of metal from various artists – Kamelot, Red, Skillet (though that’s rock) tend to be my standbys for writing.  I particularly dig “Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)” by Kamelot for writing, including the instrumental version. I also like Skillet’s “Legendary” – I tend to loop individual songs too…anywho. Diabulus in Musica “Inner Force” and Delain’s “Suckerpunch” are other writing companions.

      Basically any song that encourages me to keep going is a good one for writing. I grab a lot of Christian music too, but those artists seem to be more about insight to feed my thinking about what to write about – not that they are substitutes for bible study, but yeah. When I’m writing, I want less distraction as far as ideas go and more of a push to get me through.

      Sarah, Miss S, Sierepica_Fuzzywalker

      #89452

      Selah
      @selah-chelyah

      @ericawordsmith

      YES! Someone has started a topic on this!

      I absolutely write, use the internet, think, and breathe to music whenever possible. I love all kinds of it except for like rock, pop, hard stuff like that. Or super modern, jazz, etc. That whole group.

      The music I typically listen to is super epic, by a couple of amazing composers, called Two Steps From Hell. Ever listened to it? I have a huge playlist of all the best songs (called “TSFH Favorites”) on my YouTube channel here.

      "Get wet and sandy!" ~Instructor Reno
      "You will show respect!" ~The Bearded One

      #89492

      Kayla Skywriter
      @kayla-skywriter

        Wow, I had thought of starting a discussion on this. I’m so glad someone else had already thought of it. @ericawordsmith

        I too am unable to do anything without music. I can’t do school, write, or even ride in the car without a song playing. Infact, as I write this, Piano Guys are playing in the background. If there is no music availible I will start singing songs myself (good thing I’m a fairly good singer)

        I can write when the songs have lyrics, but I generally prefer to use instramental when I am writing. Some of my favorites you guys have already mentioned. Namely: Piano Guys, Two Steps from Hell, Christopher Tin, and John Powell. But there are some others, like Hans Zimmer, Mattia Cupelli, the High Kings (not instramental, but still amazing. I love irish music), Sherlock soundtracks, and Yiruma, that I like too. I typically have one song that I obsess over for about a month and it is played at least three times a day. Also I discovered HDsounDI on Youtube has some great writing music.

        Okay, rant over.

        How we chose to fight is just as important as what we fight for

        #89493

        EricaWordsmith
        @ericawordsmith

          @kayla-skywriter

          O.K. Before I make this really long response to everybody, I just have to say I’m listening to TPG right now too!!!!

          Chello!!

          Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!

          #89494

          EricaWordsmith
          @ericawordsmith

            @r-m-archer

            HOWARD SHORE AND JOHN POWELL!!!!!!!!!! Love those guys!!!!!!!!! *Shivers*

            Yes, I agree. I have a ton of music that just “fits” certain scenes. Thy Will is one that for some reason has been helpful to me, and a few instrumental songs from Transiberian Orchestra.

            For fantasy I generally use Howard Shore, John Powell, Narnia soundtrack, Gladiator soundtrack (OH MY WORD!!!!! That is one of my favorites!!!!), The Piano Guys, a few pieces from Star Wars (Across the Stars is just so stinking gorgeous!!!) and a ton of Celtic music. For my other story I’m working on that I’m not certain what genre it is… Andrew Peterson, TPG, and a ton of random stuff.

            I also love classical music too… I’m picky, but some pieces like Pavane, Pavane For A Dead Princess, Reverie, Requiem in D Minor… All those are so gorgeous…

            @kari-karast Will have to check that out!! What type of music genre is it?

            @the-inkspiller

            No you are not. XD I don’t often have a time when music isn’t playing in my head. I sort of have a constant soundtrack going in my brain which needs to escape constantly. GASP!!!! I’m not the only person who does that then?!?!?!?!? Yesterday I listened to TPG version of Begin Again so many times while writing a certain scene. I go through phases where I listen to/sing/play the same song over and over and over and over and over again. Sometimes it’s pretty bad, like with Now We Are Free I listened to just about every version I could find of it and listened to my favorite versions so many times… That one is just one of “my” songs. XD

            Woah… Two more things that has me staring in shock. 1. You used the name Gottschalk??? I LOVE THAT NAME!!!!!! I’ve wondered how I could get that to sound good as a middle name. XD 2. You listen to German folk music?? I’ve wondered if I’m the only young person who listens to an album of German medieval music and likes it. One of my favorites is Will niemand singen.

            @myclipboardismyviolin Can I go ahead and compliment you like I’ve been meaning to every time I see your tag?? XD That is hilarious!!! My siblings are learning right now… *Shudders* It’s nickname is The Screeching Evil.

            Yeah… I can see how sometimes especially worship music is not the best writing music. XD I like some Matt Redman stuff, but it is indeed distracting. Some artists like Fernando Ortega, Andrew Peterson, and Rich Mullins are easier for me to write to/do anything to.

            @selah-chelyah

            Yes… O.K. Let it be said that for the most part, my music taste is pretty narrow and will funnel down into which songs I am currently obsessed with (for lack of a better word). I cannot stand Rap, Country or Jazz. Those will have me out the window. Do not ever in a million years play Willie Nelson in my presence, it makes my spine want to curl. XD So I get that, I for the most part agree on Rock and pop and the rest. 🙂 I’m mainly a sountrack girl… If it can’t be played by an orchestra, it significantly makes my chances of liking it go down by 70% percent. O.K. What on earth is Two Steps From Hell? I keep seeing that and my eyes widen in horror. XD

            @kayla-skywriter

            I’ve been wanting to make this thread for a long time… I love music so much… I know it!!! I’m the girl who walks around by herself singing songs in other languages. XD

            HANS ZIMMER!!!!! Oh he’s so amazing!!! Here’s one that I’m absolutely in love with right now!!!

            And YES!!!!! I’ve said it before in this post, but I go through song stages too where I cannot get tired of a certain song for a week or a month and annoy my siblings by playing it until their sick of it and I still love it!!

            And then, next question for folks, do you ever have a song that just FITS perfectly in a scene to the point where you can see everything playing out when the song comes on? Or a song you think was just written for a character(s)?

            Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!

            #89495

            Veraza Winterknight
            @kari-karast

            @ericawordsmith

            *GASP* YES. ACROSS THE STARS IS SOOOOO EMOTIONAL. I get the feels every time I play it on the piano/listen to it.

            Um… music… genre? Idk. Dramatic?

            Also YES I have songs that are just perfect fits.

            (ENFP) Even the word hopeless is not entirely devoid of hope.

            #89522

            Selah
            @selah-chelyah

            @kayla-skywriter

            Oh, I love several of those artists/groups as well! TSFH (as I mentioned), The Piano Guys, Christopher Tin, Hans Zimmer, and Sherlock Holmes stuff. SO awesome!!

            @ericawordsmith

            Lol, the first time I heard of them I had the same reaction. The way it goes, though, is like this; there’s hell, and then there’s one step from hell, which is earth, and then there’s two steps from hell, which is heaven. And do they ever play heavenly-epic music! 🙂

            Yep, that is totally me as well. Spine-curling is a great way to describe it. Same here on orchestra/soundtracks, as well. I own + listen to so many of them, I laugh at myself!

            OH MY, YES! I have several TSFH songs that fit scenes from my WIP’s SO totally!! It is an amazing feeling….makes you feel sorry for the reader, that they will never know how what they are reading is really set to music in the writer’s mind. Yes! 😀

            "Get wet and sandy!" ~Instructor Reno
            "You will show respect!" ~The Bearded One

            #89524

            Selah
            @selah-chelyah

            @ericawordsmith

            Here is an example, one of my very favorite TSFH songs…

            "Get wet and sandy!" ~Instructor Reno
            "You will show respect!" ~The Bearded One

            #89525

            Selah
            @selah-chelyah

            @ericawordsmith

            Oops! I meant to post this one, though the one above is a favorite as well. 🙂

            • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Selah.

            "Get wet and sandy!" ~Instructor Reno
            "You will show respect!" ~The Bearded One

            #89554

            Lin
            @lin

            @ericawordsmith YEEES<3 I love listening to soundtracks when I write or draw JOHN POWELL IS MY FAVORITE<3

            I basically like all the movie soundtracks mentioned here. Looks like most writers enjoy instrumental music! Though I agree that it can be harder to find music for let’s say historical fiction? If everyone has good music for that, let me know xD

            @ALL @selah-chelyah @r-m-archer  what do y’all think about music like Two Steps From Hell? Because I used to listen to it a lot!! But I started to get uncomfortable with the name, some of their cover art and other titles (all is hell that ends well, into darkness, nero). I gotta be honest, I miss the music sometimes because most of it is really beautiful. But I just can’t seem to get comfortable with it anymore. I do believe this is something between a person and the Lord. Just wondering what everyone’s thoughts about this are!

            “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

            #89557

            R.M. Archer
            @r-m-archer

            @lin

            Personally, since the music doesn’t contain any questionable content I don’t have a problem listening to it. I do usually abbreviate the name to TSfH (or 2SfH) when I’m fairly confident that others will know what I’m talking about, because I’m also somewhat uncomfortable with it, but personally it doesn’t bother me enough that I don’t listen to or even recommend them. I don’t pay enough attention to song titles on instrumental stuff most of the time for those to bother me, either; most of the time I just don’t even notice them. But like you said, I think it’s a matter of personal preference and conviction.

            Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

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