I did not know that "Epic" was, in actuality, a real genre of music, until I ran into a playlist of it on youtube. And oh-my-gosh it makes everything epic! Listen to it and your motivation to write will increase 50%. Your concentration when you write will increase 50%. (Do I even need to add it's super effective?)
I haven't been interested in doing a post on writing to music, because it's been done so many times. And frankly, unless it's J.K. Rowling, I don't really care what people are listening to when they write. I care about what I listen to, and I'm assuming most people are the same way. But this stuff--I had to share it, because it really made that big of an impact on me. And I've made a playlist of my favorites for other writers to listen to.
First off, some of you might be wondering what epic music is. You know all those awesome movie trailers where there is crazy cool music playing? And it gets you all pumped or all sentimental for the movie? That is epic music. The music used on trailers is not even from the movies' soundtracks. It's made by companies who specialize in making trailer scores. That's what they do.
Go here and start this playlist to hear some while you read the rest of this post.
Okay, so when I found that youtube playlist, I was blown away and started looking up the artists--that's when I discovered they did movie trailer music. But sometimes their music is picked up by video games too.
I used to listen to soundtracks when I wrote (okay, sometimes I still do), but I often found that the motion picture of that soundtrack was competing with the images in my head of my own story. I'd listen to The Hobbit or Harry Potter, and parts of the movies would pop into my head. Sometimes that's nice when I'm trying to draw inspiration from that movie, or elicit that same emotion, but most of the time I need to concentrate on my own story. I need music to help me get in the "zone" not distract me with Hogwarts.
The answer was epic music. It's like an unclaimed soundtrack, so anyone can imagine up their story to it, or, if nothing else, write to it without images of Sherlock Holmes or Chronicles of Narnia flashing in your mind.
There's dark epic music, and uplifting epic music, and mysterious epic music, and battle-cry epic music, and calming epic music.
And something kind of magical happened when I wrote to it. Not only does it get me in the zone, but it motivates me. Even when I'm working through a difficult part, if I turn on some epic music, it always helps lighten the load.
Where has this stuff been all of my life?
Okay, so, if you're interested, you have the link to my playlist. I tried to vary the first ten or so tracks so you could get a feel of a few different takes, though I didn't really put anything calming in there, but those exist too. If you like the songs, I would encourage you to try to find them on Itunes, so you can support the artists. Unfortunately, not all of them are on there. You can find more epic playlists under the youtube users Pandora Journey and Trailer Music World I.
Of course, you can listen to it when you do other things. The first time my brother heard me listening to some, he was looking through a National Geographic magazine. He started laughing because it made even that feel epic, so he handed me the magazine. Looking through Nat Geo has never been that epic in my life.