Staying On Track with Soundtracks

It seems like this year UCWbLing has been filled with posts about music to listen to as you write. I for one am loving this trend; not only do I learn more about my fellow tutors, but I get to expand my music library. It’s a win-win!

Now that it’s getting to be finals, I know I’m finding myself listening to music even more than usual. I don’t always have the opportunity to write in my ideal environment (in my bed with at least 4 blankets) when a final deadline looms close. But, that’s not always possible, and learning to  write away from my ideal environment has been a challenge. Music has become  my key to focusing outside of my apartment.

When I have to bust out music to go into turbo writing mode, I often select soundtracks, for a variety of reasons. Soundtracks are, by design, collections of music where the songs connect and relate, meaning you won’t get any of that whiplash effect when you jump between two songs by different composers. Also, depending on the movie you choose, the soundtrack’s music can vary in range from action music to soft instrumental pieces, and anywhere between.

I like to choose more active, quicker soundtracks when I need to stay alert and peppy, while I use soundtracks with a lot of violin when I need to stay calm before a fast-approaching deadline.  One of my favorite things about soundtracks is the simple fact that they’re usually between 35 minutes and an hour long, so I can start one and ignore my music for a long stretch of time. This also helps me take breaks; I know that when the music stops, I need to take a five minute breather to keep me fresh and productive.

I’ve included three of the soundtracks I’m listening to right now, so that you can try out listening to soundtracks while you work. Hopefully this works for you; however, don’t feel bad if you find that you need songs with words, or that a soundtrack isn’t write [get it?] for you. Like our core belief states, “there is no universal writing process that all writers (should) use.”

  1. The Imitation Game Soundtrack: the perfect mix of fast and slow, this soundtrack is my “LET’S GET THIS DONE” soundtrack of choice. The movie is about breaking the German Enigma code during World War II, and while writing a paper isn’t as crucial, this music certainly helps stimulate the brain!
  2. The Theory of Everything Soundtrack: this is a beautiful soundtrack, with the main focus being piano with some violins and a harp every now and again. The music is all fairly calming, and it is the kind of soundtrack that swells and builds into moments that I like to call “Inspiration Boosters”. Perfect for when you’re feeling a little bit down, and need something to musically tell you that you can do it.
  3. The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Medley: I don’t know about you, but The Legend of Zelda was a huge part of my childhood. I remember watching my brother play the games on his GameBoy Color, and even today the theme music makes me think fondly of playing Twilight Princess during high school. This orchestrated version is awesome because it has songs from the entire Legend of Zelda series. With the mix of boss battles and harp music, this is one of the more varied choices.

Do you have any favorite sound tracks? Share them in the comments below!