Music to Write By

Some type on in silence.

Some rock out.

I used to need total silence, the better to concentrate my sweaty furrowed brow on my writing. Lately (okay, since Nanowrimo), I’ve been writing to music.

But it can’t be any music. It has to be just right. The wrong groove can distract, make your chase scenes dry, your exposition dull, your love scenes comic. I searched for a long time for the right tunes. I’ve made playlists on Youtube, and found favorite bands that no one’s heard of on Jamendo.

But the winner, hands down, is Pandora Radio.

They’ve sorted music by characteristic, the rascals, so they can identify and play songs similar to the song or artist you enter. For example, I’m listening now to a mix by Paul Oakenfold called Como Tu. This song has “attributes” such as:

trance roots
four-on-the-floor beats
disco influences
beats made for dancing
straight drum beats
a repetitive song structure
epic buildup/breakdown
lots of cymbals
a tight kick sound
inventive instrumental arrangements
acoustic guitar layering
subtle use of piano riffs
synth swoops
affected synths
synth heavy arrangements
extensive studio production
trippy soundscapes
prevalent use of groove

… among others. I don’t know what most of it means, but Pandora seems to think I like that sort of thing. They could be right.

Give a listen, let it speed up your fingers, and may your writing have a tight kick sound and a prevalent use of groove.

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