Music from books

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Music from books

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Apr 16, 2007, 6:53pm

Does anyone recommend any music that has been directly inspired by a book?

I am a big fan of Tales of Mystery and Imagination by the Alan Parsons Project. It makes me want to get out my Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. The whole album is wonderful, but the last track, "To One in Paradise", is sublime.

Apr 16, 2007, 10:32pm

Empire Falls by Chris Thile is great. Never read the book, but I love the song.

Apr 19, 2007, 2:58am

Blind Guardian has done some work with LotR on their album "Tales From the Twilight World" that I rather like.

Apr 19, 2007, 7:44am

A group called Hawkwind did music based on Michael Moorcock's Elric series.

Several Blue Oyster Cult songs were co-written by Moorcock and Eric Bloom including Black Blade and Veteran of the Psychic Wars which was in the first Heavy Metal movie.

5sikarian First Message
Apr 19, 2007, 4:12pm

I read that Sting was inspired to write "Moon Over Bourbon Street", on the album Dream of the Blue Turtles, by Anne Rice's vampire novels. The song is very good, but the novels are even better.

Edited: Apr 26, 2007, 10:49am

I haven't had time to read it yet, but I have a copy of an album of music connected to Mercedes Lackey's Magic's Price (Last Herald Mage). I've been assured it's very good so I'll have that on the next time I'm doing a re-read.

Edited: Apr 26, 2007, 11:06am

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How about Dominick Argento's opera, The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe?

Of course, the vast majority of operas have been directly inspired by books (or plays). Think of Verdi's Otello, Falstaff and Macbeth, or Mozart and Rossini's versions of Beauharnais' plays.

Dumas' Dame aux Camellias was Verdi's source for Verdi's La Traviata, Melville's Billy Budd inspired Britten's work of the same name, and in recent years we have seen The Great Gatsby, Dead Man Walking, A Streetcar Named Desire, Little Women and many more books appear in operatic form.

May 17, 2007, 9:16am

If you mean like a book u have read and when you read it a song has directly came 2 ur mind with the descriptins and everything then thts what happens to me sometimes.Maybe if it's a romantic part of the book "Far Away" by Nickelback and if it's fighting it might be "Used to" by Daughtry.Maybe that's is my own books I write,but it sometimes comes 2 the books I read.

May 17, 2007, 9:21am

Mike Oldfield made a soundtrack to the book, Songs of a Distant Earth by Arthur C. Clarke. It's one of my favorites.

May 17, 2007, 10:08am

To follow up on the thought of Arroyoluver61,

I recently read V. I. Lenin's State and Revolution. It had me singing the Who's Won't Get Fooled Again: Meet the new boss same as the old boss.

Of course we can't forget Wagner's Ring Cycle based on the Nibelungenlied. Great music when reading the Germans (Nietzsche, Mann, Goethe, Hesse, etc.).

May 18, 2007, 7:57am

McTeague: a story of San Francisco by Frank Norris inspired Philip Glass to compose the omonimous opera.

May 21, 2007, 7:29am

Response 2 message 10-is that a song?I don't know it yah I guess some parts of a book can get songs immedatley to play in my head. :)

Edited: May 21, 2007, 5:33pm


See this page. This is the theme song for one of the CSI programs. This is one of the best rock songs of the last 50 yearrs.

May 21, 2007, 5:44pm

I've played a few orchestral/wind symphony pieces that were based on books.

The Lord of the Rings Symphony by Johan de Mejj is really great. (CD with samples available here --

Also, I really enjoyed playing Of Sailors and Whales by Frances McBeth, which is inspired by scenes from Moby Dick. This one uses odd instrumentation to mimic whale calls from time to time.

Jun 7, 2007, 3:31pm

Glimpses: A Novel by Lewis Shiner inspired my 10 year collection of bootleg copies of the Greatest Album That Never Was Which is now The Greatest Album That Never Was, But Came to Be: "Smile" by Brian Wilson (formerly The Beach Boys).