Depends. Sometimes I write to the more martial music by the Corries such as A' the Blue Bonnets. Sometimes I write to classical music, especially Tchaikovsky, Bach and Wagner. Sometimes to the soundtrack from Last of the Mohicans.
I'm an introvert, which means I am drained rather than fueled by outside input.
Silence is the best atmosphere for me, for work. If my husband simply must have the TV or the radio on, then I ask him to please turn it down so that I can try to tune it out.
I was actually upset a few months ago by a story I read in which someone tries to reform an introvert, tries to make the person more "outgoing." I was born this way, and I genuinely don't think it is anything I can change. That said, I am plenty outgoing when I have the energy to be, and when I am not trying to work. I think we introverts are vastly misunderstood by extroverts. Introverts are not anti-social or shy as a rule, though of course some of us are. We just gain psychological energy by being alone and quiet (meditation), rather than through stimulation. It takes all kinds, remember. In D&D terms, we introverts are the clerics and the wizards who need to meditate to recharge our abilities.
I find it difficult to even read with music on, let alone write. I LOVE music, too. I was in choir all through school. I just can't listen to music and do much else but drive or dance at the same time!
I don't listen while writing, but will often listen to music right before.
As to what music, it depends on what I'm working on. If it is a battle scene, then I pick something hard and aggressive.
If it's a love scene, then something softer.
This can all range from Pink Floyd to Aerosmith to Fleetwood Mac. All the classics...
I've also found taking a break and listening to a few songs can help with writer's block.
I'm a pop music lover all the way and not ashamed to admit it! While writing my latest book, I listened to Maroon 5's newest, Ke$ha's newest, and for some variety, DMB's Away from the World CD. I mostly listen to current pop music while I'm writing, but when I'm editing, I sometimes have to keep everything quiet so I can really put myself in the scene.
Silence, total silence, please. Although, I also like to write at coffee houses and am fine with the ambient noise except for those occasions where someone has to sit next to me and talk extremely loud. Then I put some headphones on and listen to The Lord of the Rings soundtrack. I wasnt even a huge fan of the movies, but the music has a great epic quality. I've been trying the Hobbit soundtrack, too, but its not quite the same.
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