Music to write by

I don’t know what I’d do with out Pandora. It’s essentially free internet radio where you can pick the genre you want to listen to by entering the name of a band or artist, and then Pandora builds a play list with similar music. I bought the Pandora One subscription so I can listen all day at 192Kbps without commercial interruptions. Not a bad deal for $36 per year.

When I’m working at my day job (i.e., web designer/e-learning developer), rock n’ roll is my music of choice. I typically start out with my “Def Leppard” station. For some reason 80’s hair bands wake me up and help me focus on my coding. But by the afternoon I’m in an epic rock mood, so I hit the “Dream Theater” channel.

When I’m writing fiction, the type of music I listen to depends on the genre I’m working on.

Fantasy requires classical music. Russian composers like Prokofiev and Shostakovitch have epic pieces that blast my creativity. I tried listening to film scores, but then I’d simply picture the film scenes in my mind rather than scenes from my book. Too distracting.

Science fiction — at least my current project — requires electronica and techno, but nothing with too many lyrics. My “Massive Attack” station (theme music from House) usually fits the bill.

While writing my contemporary mystery novel, my main character was a Neil Finn fan, so naturally I listened to a lot of “Crowded House” for that book.

What kind of music do you listen to when you write and/or work? Or do you like it silent?