TalkMusic to read by

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Apr 14, 2007, 5:26pm

When I read The Silmarillion I listen to "My Spanish Heart" by Chick Corea. This entire jazz album is excellent, but the first few tracks are the ones best suited to the book. I suggest reading about Melian singing in the forest of Nan Elmoth while listening to track 7, "Wind Danse". Perfect!

Apr 14, 2007, 7:10pm

What a good question.

Predictable as it may seem, I have grown accustomed to listening to Howard Shore's soundtrack to the films while I read or write about Tolkien. He really captured the poignancy and grandeur of the story.

I will have to try Chick Corea.

Apr 14, 2007, 10:34pm

For the most part, I like absolute silence. Except for my cat purring on my lap of course! If I DO listen to music it's one of two things. I'll put on Pink floyd, staying with the more instrumental stuff like echoes or Live at Pompeii.
The other thing I sometimes do is match the music to the story. If it's a crazy, rowdy story, I'll play hard rock or some such tune. If it's more of a murder mystery, then classical works nicely.

In other words, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. It depends on my mood and the story.

How's that for a rambling round-a-bout answer?


Apr 14, 2007, 11:45pm

I normally have complete silence with the occasion of one or two of my cats in my lap purring. Or there will be the sound the the chaos in my house in the background.

When I do listen to music I normally put on music that fits the type of book I'm reading.


Apr 15, 2007, 11:21am

I find Jean Sibelius goes down quite nicely with the Russians.

Edited: Jun 26, 2007, 9:54pm

I acquired The Fellowship of the Ring and Maurice Jarre's soundtrack for Dr. Zhivago at about the same time and found the music much better suited to the Middle Earth than to Russia. It's been forty years and Lara's Theme still brings hobbits to mind rather than Julie Christie.

Apr 16, 2007, 9:59am

good morning all- no matter what im reading i aalways have nancy lamott playing in the background- she had the most amazing voice and i really really really encourage anyone who hasn't heard her yo go to and give her a listen

Apr 17, 2007, 12:42am

Howard Shore's soundtracks will do, but I always seem to get to "The Bridge of Moria" when I'm at a really quiet part of the book.
I bought Rebecca St James' cd Transform the same day I first bought the books and kinda ended up linking them together in my head.
Um, Explosions in the Sky is good reading music no matter whats.

Apr 17, 2007, 5:25am

i was listening to a lot of led zeppelin when i first started reading "the lord of the rings" in its entirety about 10 years ago, after having found out that several of their songs were influenced by LOTR and tolkien's works, in particular. to this day, whenever i hear any led zep song a fleeting image slides its melody into my mind and i am completely entranced and back inside those dusty dreams of books i read and loved so long ago,
what sheer bliss music can add to the art of reading! :)

Edited: Apr 17, 2007, 4:41pm

I play Howard Shore's soundtrack while reading but I also love to have Loreena McKennit's music playing in the background & many times fall asleep to her wonderful 'global' music! Enya has some good stuff as do the Chieftans & other celtic groups such as Clannad.
When I was in high school (a long time ago) my Art teacher invited us to bring in records(vinyl) for us to listen to while creating art. Two of my favorites were on my album which included The 1812 Overture w/cannons & bells & Bolero by Ravel. The later work you probably are familiar with. My teacher was soon refering to it as 'music to go mad by!-due no doubt to its repetitive melody line-of couse I loved it & still do. No doubt however that in those days it's ability to annoy an adult greatly enhanced it's appeal to my teen-aged self!

(had to correct some spelling errors)

Apr 18, 2007, 10:07am

Besides Loreena McKennit, I will listen to Lisa Gerrard The Mirror Pool, perhaps Enya, when reading. I can listen to many symphonic and piano classical pieces, but not to chamber music, as it can call your attention to the music from the book. I think Beethoven sonatas could be an effective backdrop. Sometimes the music is good because, if you live on a busy street, you need to filter out some of the outside noise.

But for Tolkien, I would like the music done by Howard Shore. I am not sure that I would want to listen to composers contemporary with Tolkine, like Poulenc or Shostakovich, but Juaquin Rodrigo might work.

Bob Campbell

Apr 18, 2007, 10:51am

I find too captivating lyrics distract from reading - and too engrossing a read will mean I lose most of the music.

I do like to have some music on as background when I read, but I've ended up putting most of my CDs onto random shuffle, so that over time I get to listen to more than just the first couple of tracks.

The lyric issue rules out a lot, but I find the dramatics in most classical pieces don't work. I normally end up listenign to a lot of accoustic tunes that I can idelly twiddle my fingers too without losing the plot.

I don't have specific music for specific books.

Apr 19, 2007, 2:55am

I have to givethe same answer as reading_fox here. I ussually just put the music on shuffle repeat and get a mix of pop, gothic rock, metal, hardrock. It does make for strange combinations sometimes. A tragic deathscene with The Fratellis in the background for instance.
Most of the time though I just stop hearing the music after a while, unless it really jars.

14Cydon First Message
May 9, 2007, 4:55pm

I listen to Classical Music while reading Fantasy Books and Historical Fiction. (Ancient to Medieval History only) I've tried listening to Howard Shore's music while reading, but the movie keeps flashing up in my mind and distracts me.

Edited: May 19, 2007, 3:12pm

I think Fable and Children (both Dream Versions) by Robert Miles suits fantasy books (such as Tolkien) perfect! If you have ever heard either song you'll know what I'm talking about. The song transports you to another dimension or reality. Very otherworldy with a dream-like quality.