What is it about music that drives the written word?

Where words fail, music speaks – Hans Christian Anderson

I have said before about what music I listen to changes my writing. I cannot emphasize that enough. I have a large music library, but when I’m writing I have to be careful what music I listen to or it can stall the writing.

I have written horror stories, fantasy, Y/A and Sci-Fi. Each one of them fit in a category of music.

Horror – Chopin, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman and a lot of music scores. My favorites are the scores done by Hans Zimmer, his scores for video games are amazing. Ramin Djawadi is someone who not a lot of people heard of before he did “Game of Thrones” for HBO last year. That score is one of the best scores.

Fantasy – Florence + the Machine, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

Y/A – Young Adult is a different category because you can put a few different types of books in it. The book that I’ve had trouble writing is in the Y/A genre and I listened to a lot of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Radiohead and Alice in Chains.

For other Y/A books I’ve listened to..*gulp*…Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga. It is not because of the source material that I listened to them. It is because I use Pandora when I writing. When I’m scanning through Pandora, if I find music that makes me start hitting the keys I stick with it. The above mentioned artists did this.

Science Fiction – This is where the weird music comes out. I listen to Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, DJ Tiesto and Paul Oakenfold.

I don’t make playlists!

I know a lot writers that do. Using Pandora for my writing I don’t have to. It selects something that is like the artist I pick and plays something similar.

Not creating a playlist frees me up if the music starts getting boring or repetitious. I love Pandora, I don’t know how to write without it. It is one of the most useful tools in my writing toolbox. Music makes me write better, it forces the words on the page. Whether it is the opening notes of Stairway to Heaven or Hans Zimmer’s score for Inception. When I go through revisions I can remember what song was playing when I wrote a section of a book. Music pushes my brain to work harder, it always has. I’ve always done better when I have music playing, whether writing, fixing dinner or when I did homework in high school or college. Music changes the way my writing feels.


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3 Responses to What is it about music that drives the written word?

  1. susielindau says:

    I have been meaning to try Pandora. I will right now!
    Great post!

    • BB_Baker says:

      I love it. I have the pay service because I use it so much. If you don’t like making playlists for your writing it’s awesome. I have the app on my iPhone, my iPad, my laptop and my desktop. My kids love it too! I hope you like it Susie. Thanks for your comments.

  2. loustar02 says:

    I love Hans Zimmer’s music. Hoping to unwrap a late Christmas present and find the CD waiting for me (don’t ask!)

    Love the post.

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