Sunday, November 6, 2011

Do You Read and Write to Music?

Do you listen to music when you read? When you write? Well, I do—and I love it! It always puts me in the mood and sets the stage.

Some readers of romance like to read in silence. I can respect that. Some writers of romance like silence when they are creating their stories. Not me. I like music that puts me in the scene, even motivates me when I write. One writer of vampire romance told me she likes to write to urban rock. Well, I can see that for some scenes, but for me it’s quite different.

Today I thought I’d share with you the music I love to read and write by—and I’d love to hear from you!

Below I’ve listed some wonderful music that you might try. I have a 3-hour playlist. Sometimes I download only one song on an album (using iTunes). Other times I can use nearly the whole album. Before I add a song to my playlist, I always screen it to make sure it fits. (You do notice when a song makes you look up from the page!) I have a main playlist and a Scottish/Celtic playlist, and I alternate between them depending on what time and place my head is in.

Generally, I use movie scores. My favorite composer is the French composer, Alexandre Desplat. You might not know his name but I’m certain you have heard his music.

Here are some of the albums I have used:

By Alexandre Desplat:

·      Coco Before Channel
·      Girl With a Pearl Earring
·      The King’s Speech
·      The Twilight Saga: New Moon
·      Lust, Caution
·      The Painted Veil
·      The Golden Compass
·      Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
·      The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

By James Newton Howard:

·      Peter Pan
·      The Village
·      The Water Horse
·      Lady in the Water

By others:

·      Becoming Jane (Adrian Johnston)
·      Pride & Prejudice (Jean-Yves Thibaudet)
·      Celtic Romance (David Arkenstone)
·      December and Forest albums (George Winston)
·      The Duchess (Rachel Portman)

I’d love to hear from you. Do you listen to music when you read? Or, if you are a romance writer, when you write? If so, share your favorites with me!


  1. Hi, Regan.

    I like your idea of listening to music scores. I listen to a combination of classic guitar or cello and new age piano (try Philip Wesley). I do create a playlist for each book I write, compiling them like someone might create a visual collage. I take themes, moods, character arcs, and lyrical relevance into account. But I don't listen to these playlists while writing (those darn lyrics mess with my mind), but while driving, washing dishes, or working out. They put my muse on overdrive even when I'm not sitting at my computer.

  2. I love movie soundtracks too! :) My choices vary depending on the book I'm writing...

    Night Walker's playlist had the Mask of Zorro soundtrack, and right now I'm editing Night Demon with the Apocalypto soundtrack.

    I also use "theme songs" for the hero and heroine.

    Music definitely helps me stay focused and in the mood for the book...

    Lisa :)

  3. Music written in a largo tempo such as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata is a wonderful tool for sending the brain into a theta state. This is the state one enters in meditation and is also the perfect state for retaining information when studying. It's also a wonderful state to be in when writing. The largo tempo and theta state operate at the same frequency.

  4. While I write here, the TV plays oldies from the fifties. I like Doowop especially. When I wrote The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, I played the movie score for The Adventures of Robin Hood, the score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

    I often thought about writing short stories with any love song as the premise. make a collection of Romance authors and then indie-publish them. (say RWASD 2 each to those willing). The title of each story would be the title of the song.

    RW Richard

  5. I love the idea of creating a playlist for each book I'm writing...great idea!