Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Power of Music

I graduated from high school in 1974. (You do the math.) All through high school, I listened to The Beatles, The Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Bread, Bobby Sherman. (I had SUCH a crush on Bobby Sherman! I even had a huge poster of him taped to the ceiling over my bed.) Yep, I was a pop music junkie. While most of my friends had their radios tuned to country stations (this was Texas, after all), I bebopped around my bedroom to The Partridge Family.

I've always loved music. Any job became easier if I could listen to my favorite songs. When I started writing, music naturally went along with it. The type of music depends on what I'm writing. Sometimes I want to bebop along with those great 70s tunes. Sometimes a movie soundtrack will put me in the exact mood I need. Classical, rock, pop, soft instrumental... It all depends on the scene and the characters.

Imagine a funky bubblegum song playing instead of the "da dum da dum" you expect when Jaws is in the water. Doesn't work at all, does it? It's the same with writing. The music has to be right or the mood is broken.

I write erotic romance for Ellora's Cave and Avon Red. I have to really concentrate when I write a love scene for I want it to be right. I want the reader to *feel* everything my characters are feeling...every sigh, every kiss, every whisk of fingertips over bare skin. Listening to songs with lyrics distracts me during those crucial scenes, so I turn to New Age instrumentals. The strings, harps, and flutes all go along with the sexy mood I'm trying to convey. "Da dum da dum" definitely wouldn't work while writing a love scene.

Does music play an important part in your life? Tell me about it.



N.J.Walters said...

I can't listen to music while I write. Even instrumental music is distracting for me.

However, I do use music to give me the right "mood" to write a certain piece. I've used everything from Annie Lennox, Evanescence, Nickelback and more to set the mood, especially for my darker books.

Diana said...

oooh...Bobby Sherman...YES! I had a HUGE collection of Tiger Beats (and every other magazine) that had his picture in or on it. Definitely a crush on him. I still have all my LPs and even have several cardboard cutouts of 45's from the back of cereal boxes! Oh, the cereal I made my mother buy just so I could get that 45! I'm thinking I need a Bobby as a hero in my next book...


Lynn LaFleur said...

Honeycomb cereal! My mom bought a box of it for me because it had Bobby's record on the back. Wow, I haven't thought about that in years.

Diana, do you have his very first LP with that gorgeous full face picture on the front? Those blue eyes could make me melt before I understood what melting was all about. :-)


Angelia Sparrow said...

I graduated in 86. But yes, I did Tiger and Teen Beat, but liked 16 better.

I sometimes create play lists for a novel. I can use them only during the first draft. After that, they get distracting.

While writing a western, I played Marty Robbins' "Big Iron" so many times my 8 year old started singing along.

Nikki_Soarde said...

I can't have music on while I'm writing either. I can handle almost any other household noise, but if music is playing I find I want to lose myself in that rather than the story! Music does, however, play a huge role in many other aspects of my life.

While I"m walking, driving, doing housework, and even grocery shopping (my MP3 player keeps me sane while struggling through that tedious chore!), I love to have the music cranked. It's not uncommon to hear "Mom, turn it DOWN!" from my teenagers. lol

I enjoy the oldies like Simon & Garfunkel, Moody Blues and Pink Floyd, but for the mnost part I love finding hew artists...everything from The Killers, Hinder, Fallout Boy to old faves like Bon Jovi and Nickelback. I love'em all!

Cait Miller said...

Music plays a huge part in my life, I drive an hour to and from work so I am a big radio/mp3 listener. I do listen to music sometimes when I write as well but it has to be something I am familiar with and it has to be loud so it's more of a white noise than anything else. If it's too new or too quiet then I find I tune it in more. I use it to distract me from the other noise going on around me. I know, weird huh? LOL!