I like me some music. All kinds. But, I can only write with instrumental music playing, preferably at a low volume. If there are lyrics, I’m sunk because they divide my attention keeping me from immersing myself totally in writing.
I usually write to a nice mix of soundtracks from Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, and Black Hawk Down, as well as some stuff from the Shadowbane video game (which I do not play) and Eberron RPG (which I do). Those work for me pretty well. Sometimes the exciting, tension-building moments start playing at the wrong times, but that’s okay.
I’ve recently included a jazz-esque playlist that includes some Miles Davis, Ernest Ranglin, Hanneke Cassel, and Ibrahim Ferrer. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write with that going on, but it’s working just fine. My next playlist will probably go the acoustic guitar instrumental route. I’ve got some Hawaiian slack key guitar stuff, some Bruce Cockburn instrumentals, Tone Poems and a few other odds and ends that should be a nice way to mix up my music.
Do any of you write with music in the background? If you’ve never tried, I would recommend giving it a try. Music can be wonderful for setting the mood of your scenes, you just have to make sure you like what you are hearing. If you already listen to music while you write, what are your faves?