>Ever heard of endorphins? According to Wikipedia, they’re polypeptides produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates, and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a sense of well-being. Are you lost yet? Essentially, they’re naturally occurring chemicals produced in our body when external forces affect our emotions.
Turns out music can effect one’s production of endorphins, although the scientific community reactions are mixed on the issue. Seems like the numbers are all over the place on the matter. But there are a number of clinical people who believe that music does a lot more than just sound good. Since music produces endorphins, it explains why a scary piece of music will set you on edge. Ever watched Halloween with the sound off? It’s laughable. The music is what sets you on the edge of your seat.
Ok, ok, you’re saying, so what does all of this have to do with writing? I think it has a lot to do with writing. Many writers listen to music as they write their stories, simply to “put themselves in the mood.” I think it works. When I was writing my upcoming release, Mirage, I went out and found different pieces of middle-eastern music that had an Egyptian flavor to them. Ever heard the theme to Lawrence of Arabia? I wanted to listen to music like that, but I didn’t want to listen to the same selection over and over again. I hit the jackpot with the soundtrack for the TV-movie Arabian Nights. I loaded the songs onto my computer then created specific play lists in my player for different sections of the book.
For love scenes I had two play lists, one called Sultry the other Lust *evil grin*, for other scenes I had one called Mirage. I’d also pick out a single song to play over and over when I wanted to get into a particular mood for specific scenes. Then there were scenes where music would have only interfered with my concentration.
I do this type of music selecting with all my books. It sounds nuts, but for a recent book I wrote, which was a historical, I listened to Bosson’s One in a Million (my version is a remix and is faster) over and over again for the love scenes. The scenes weren’t bouncy like the song, but there was something about it just fit the characters. Then with my book Dangerous (due out March ’08 from Samhain) I used LeeAnn Rimes’s song, Can’t Fight the Moonlight, for the love scenes. This book is a historical too, but because one of the main love scenes was at the witching hour, I always got in the mood when I heard the song. The words spoke to me. I confess there are times when I prefer silence when I write. I also use a lot of classical and movie themed instrumentals. I tend to want to sing when I hear a song I like. *grin* I’ve yet to find appropriate music for my current book, but I’m still feeling my way through the characters. Something will come to me. I imagine it’s going to be something by Evanescence. She’s dark, seductive and angst ridden. Perfect for night-time urban fantasy type of works. *grin*
So…do you listen to music when you write? Do you pick out certain songs? Do you just listen to anything? Do you prefer silence?
Oh, and in case you’re too young or you’ve forgotten – Jump (For My Love)