JRL and I are opposites in many, many ways. In practically every way, actually. One big difference is: I have to listen to music when I'm writing. He can't.
The main reason I listen to music is to block out ambient sounds. Like: cars rumbling past and potentially turning into our driveway. Mice in the walls. Other mice being chased by our cat, and in need of rescue. Family members saying interesting things on the phone. The heater turning on and off. Why does it do that? Wind slapping the screen door. Oh, anything.
But the other reason is just because music seems to calm my brain waves. I'm not sure there's anything to that, but you know.
I listen to music that has no words, or if it has words, is so familiar to me that I can ignore them. I like classical music a lot, Debussy, Satie, Mendelssohn, Scriabin, and Phillip Glass. One morning my clock radio alarm went off (on?) and began playing the third movement of Satie's Gnossiennes, and it infiltrated my dreams. That music ended up being the secret inner sound track to my novel. I didn't actually mention Satie in the book -- I really don't like it when writers put their inner soundtracks into their writing. That stuff is too personal.
Another time I was listening to an instrumental group called Tulsa Drone, and that inspired a half a novel. But then the book got too creepy and I abandoned it. I blame the music! (Not really. I still like them.)
Anyway, it seems like the music the writer is listening to while writing ends up in the work in all sorts of ways... but the reader never hears it or sees evidence of it. Which is kind of strange.
I'd love recommendations for good writing music.