Friday, February 17, 2006

Whistle while you work

After a little more procrastinating, I finished the writing I needed to do tonight. I tried listening to some music while I worked, and ended up musing on why certain kinds of music are more distracting than others. So that I could get on with my current assignment, I promised myself I'd turn my musing into blogging later on.

The conclusion that I've come to is that it has to do with words. I find it supremely distracting to hear other people's words, even as part of a song, while I'm trying to create my own words. Therefore, the types of music that have always been best for background music while I write are also those that don't have any lyrics to distract me: New Age, mostly, and select movie soundtracks.

When it's the right music, however, I find that music is highly conducive to creation. The right background music can help sustain a particular mood or image or feeling that I need in order to write a certain piece. For instance, in the past I've used Enigma as a backdrop for suspenseful or supernatural fiction, while something more monotonous and soothing helps me to write nonfiction.

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