Music and Reading


Akhi Pillalamarri
Head Web Content Contributor
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Oftentimes, music is strongly associated with many of our reading experiences. Here at Backroom Whispering Productions (BWP), many of our members like to have a playlist of music going while they read. Some create an eclectic playlist of widely-disparate tracks; others take more care and time to pair their selected music with what’s going on in their chosen book. And, even then, the results can be different: you might like techno or hard rock with a catchy and fast beat for an action sequence, while your friend might like some kind of classical music for that same scene instead. Whatever floats your boat!

Authors, too, have been known to create playlists for their writing, releasing these to readers who may then listen to the songs that inspired the creation of some of their favorite books/series. For example, Sabaa Tahir, the author of An Ember in the Ashes, provided her readers with quite an extensive playlist associated with the primary characters of her debut. According to her, listening to her selection of songs was vital to understanding her characters:

“…without music, I could never have written the book. And without playlists, I could never have accessed Laia or Elias’s psyches.”

Brandon Sanderson, too, has been providing his readers with a playlist of the music he has listened to while writing the upcoming third book in his Stormlight Archive series. Compared to Tahir, Sanderson’s playlist consist of more instrumental tracks, drawing heavily from various film and video game soundtracks. The scores to films and video games are a great means of experiencing a variety of moods and emotions through melody, especially when you consider that soundtracks usually have more tracks than other types of albums.

Personally, my favorite soundtracks include:

  • Halo (all of the games)
  • Zelda (especially the remix from Theophany)
  • World of Warcraft (WoW)
  • All the music of Lindsay Stirling

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