Review Excerpts

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Sound of Silence (thanks, Paul Simon!)

(Completely irrelevant to the rest of this blog post: my author interview is up over at The First 7500 Words! Go read about my favorite authors, my writing tips, and how I would subdue a dragon!)

The topic of music comes up frequently in many of the writing forums I visit. It's understandable. Music is a great form of artistic expression. When lyrics are involved, it's closely tied to the art of creative writing. If we're being honest, music probably plays more of a role in the everyday lives of people than the written word, even if we're just zoning out to the radio during our morning commute. If writers weren't so moved by music, there wouldn't be millions upon millions of "songfics" over at or stories named after stolen lyrics!

(Okay, I'm mostly joking about that last part. Mostly.)

Confession time! My bachelor's degree is in music. Though I don't play as much as I once did, I still consider myself a musician. Here's the kicker - very rarely do I have music on in the background when I write. If I do, it's something instrumental. Even with my phenomenal multi-tasking abilities, I never was able to write one set of words while listening to another. The instruments alone sometimes do a good enough job of distracting me, whether my analytical brain is paying attention to the chord structures and cadences or if I'm simply getting lost in the beauty.

But since people ask, I'll answer: When I do have music playing while I write, I'd estimate about 75% of the time, it's by a classical Russian composer. Not only do I just really like them, but if a piece is long enough, it'll cover a number of different moods, and I don't have to manually switch to something different. Laziness always wins!

Thea Landen (B.Mus)'s Official Playlist for Writing Greatness:

For something utterly exquisite, like a tender, yet intense love: Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini: Variation No. 18 (yes, the famous one), by Rachmaninov

There is suffering, but glorious victory will come! Symphony No. 5 - Finale, by Shostakovich

The evil villain is always lurking: Movement 2 (The Kalendar Prince) from Scheherazade, by Rimsky-Korsakov

And, lastly, nearly everything you could want for musical inspiration: 1812 Overture, by Tchaikovsky


  1. Oooh classical music! I must look some of these up :)

    1. You must! And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

      (Saves the list of American composers of wind literature for another day....)