Music and Writing

A while ago I reluctantly went to hear a concert orchestra.

The program for the night included a variety of songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein (The Sound of Music), Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Carribean), John Williams (Harry PotterStar Wars), Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen ), and Claude-Michel Schoenberg (Les Miserables). Yeah, most of these were from films or musicals eventually adapted into film.

Photo by Frink51, distributed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Photo by Frink51, distributed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

As I sat and listened, trying hard not to check the notifications from my WordPress app, I started imagining possible scenes for novels I’ve long since stopped trying to write, and eventually a climax scene for a manuscript I haven’t yet started (the next in my potential series).

Though I’ve stopped listening to music while writing because it’s distracting, I may start listening to music entirely on its own (and not just while driving or in the shower). Music does some pretty awesome things when you just listen.

This song, “You’re Not Alone” from Final Fantasy IX, isn’t one of the songs from that night, but I like it (never got far enough in the game to hear it ):

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22 thoughts on “Music and Writing

  1. Music scores especially spark a light for me so far as writing goes. Ones where you’ve yet to see the actual film all the more so as you aren’t influenced then.

    I recall Final Fantasy Seven being ‘my year’, and the music from it still lingers. I have dreamt of Chocobos before now too.

    Your mention of House of Leaves has gained you another follower. It is one of my favourite tomes. I doubt I’ll ever tire of it. 🙂

    – sonmicloud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For the concert I saw, I’d already seen most of those movies. Still worked, though.

      Final Fantasy VII is definitely one of the best ones, if not the best. I started with the SNES ones, though.

      House of Leaves—it was a trip.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Listening to songs that fit my characters situation or state of mind always makes it easier and a joy to get right into their heads. It gets the juices to flowing, so to speak, like the bursting of a dam. I put a video collection of my main characters’ “songs” on my website. I’ve really gotten a lot of help from that. Good post!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Solid post. I feel like a draw a lot of my creative power from listening to music, and I would die to see a live orchestra. I grew up in the country and we just didn’t have that type of thing.

    I can only really listen to orchestral or instrumental music while writing, though. I do sometimes just listen to music to see what my mind wanders to, and with that it can have lyrics. Sometimes a song can inspire a whole series of novels for me.

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  4. I always thought singing was kind of like writing on air.
    If a song has words that I agree with, I love singing.
    On the other hand, when I am writing, I listen to instrumental or orchestral music.
    Music with no words inspires words..
    I can’t listen to music that has lyrics without getting distracted by the other thoughts…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting. A craving for WP like some crave FB or need Twitter. I am learning. It makes sense, when you are a really real writer, and write your life. Just hadn’t thought about it.

    Surprised, too, that I liked the piece. Thanks for that

    (No, not the piece–YOU didn’t write it, did you, Mr. Writer? Nor my liking–you didn’t do THAT either. We’re not ALL characters in your stories whom you can shove around willy-nilly, stick your hand up our butts, and force words to come out our–

    Oh, dang. Where’s the “thought control” cliche I was shooting for?)

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  6. Music really dose have an influence on writing and inspiration, and its name is certainly no coincidence. Even when listening to soundtracks I get ideas for stories and scenarios completely unrelated to the original context

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  7. I enjoy classical music when writing – it has movement and I find it inspirational. I listen to all types of music – ’cause you never know when a spark of inspiration will hit. Good post! Thank you for following my blog.

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  8. I think music is an amazing gift given to man. It sure distracts me while writing too so I really don’t get close with a pen in my hand. And like you sometimes I just wanna listen, especially when on that long lonely road at night… It’s just beautiful what music does to us, overall, music heals.

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  9. try listening to Yoko Kanno and Yuki kajiura. Two of my most favorite Japanese composers. They take anime BGMs to whole new level.

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