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Spotify Playlists

Best Writing Music of 2013

What’s your favorite writing music from 2013? I’ve rounded up my annual list of the best music that helped me write this year.

Follow the links below to listen to the instrumental songs we’ve picked so far this year. Share the instrumental songs or albums that inspired you in the comments section.

Follow this link to read our Best Writing Music of 2011 list and our 2012 list. If you want more inspiration, check out Largehearted Boy’s annual list of Year-End Music Lists and Open Culture’s timeless Best Music to Write By list.

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Philip K. Dick Writing Music on Spotify

The great science fiction writer Philip K. Dick loved classical music, especially the work of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Author Andrew May wrote a great article exploring Dick’s favorite classical music, and I turned it into a free Spotify playlist along with some more musical research. Follow the links below to listen to the free playlist. Here’s more from May:

For an icon of popular culture, Philip K. Dick had a decidedly uncool knowledge of classical music. In an article written several years ago I mentioned his interest in Wagner’s opera Parsifal, and the numerous references to it in VALIS. But classical music features in one way or another in many of Dick’s works. Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen is mentioned in the introduction to A Maze of Death as the source employed for some of the material in the book. Mozart’s Magic Flute is described, in considerable detail, in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the hard-boiled cop Rick Deckard is an opera buff, naturally). In Ubik, a helicopter plays Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (one of the most sublime musical works of the nineteenth century) as background muzak. In The Game-Players of Titan, a teenaged kid forks out 125 dollars for a vintage recording of a Puccini aria.

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Kanye West Samples 1930s Protest Poem

In Kayne West‘s challenging and explicit new album, he sampled Nina Simone singing “Strange Fruit”–a song that originated as a 1930s protest poem.

Below, we’ve created a free Spotify playlist linking to West’s song and a collection of covers of “Strange Fruit.” We wrote a little more about the history of the song:

New York City English teacher, poet and activist Abel Meeropol wrote the poem “Strange Fruit” during the Great Depression. The great Billie Holiday ended up recording the song, sharing the dark story about lynchings in America.

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How Prog Rock Influenced Writers

Do you listen to Pink Floyd or Yes or King Crimson for inspiration?

On today’s edition of the Morning Media Menu, we spoke with Rare Bird Lit publisher Tyson Cornell and author Marc Weingarten, the collaborators behind a new anthology about progressive rock. In Yes Is the Answer (And Other Prog Rock Tales), novelists and journalists share their personal experiences with this largely ignored genre of music.

Press play below to listen on SoundCloud. We’ve also included a free prog rock Spotify playlist curated by Weingarten and some excerpts from the interview…

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Michael Connelly Writing Music on Spotify

What kind of music do your characters listen to? Novelist Michael Connelly has created a dark and inspiring soundtrack over the course of his career.

At a Sony Readers Book Club event in Los Angeles, Connelly explained that he was inspired by musicians “who had a difficult time making music.” As an example, he mentioned how his long-time character Harry Bosch listened to Art Pepper, a great jazz saxophonist who struggled with drug addiction and a troubled family history.

If you want to sample his writing music playlist, we’ve included a free Spotify playlist below of Connelly’s literary soundtrack. Connelly concluded: “Music is one of the things that helps me. If there is music playing in my book, that music was playing when I wrote it.”

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How To Put Your Audiobook on Spotify

Do you want to share your audiobook with the 20 million users listening to streaming music on Spotify?

Author Craig Seymour self-funded an audiobook edition of his memoir, All I Could Bear: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington D.C. earlier this year. Inspired by a GalleyCat article with SoundCloud advice for writers, he decided to upload the audiobook to both SoundCloud and Spotify.

Follow this link to listen to his book on Spotify. Spotify has very few audiobooks, so we conducted an email interview with Seymour to find out how he added his book to the music service. He provided some step-by-step instructions.

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Dave Brubeck Music for Writers

The great jazz musician Dave Brubeck has died. He was 91 years old. “Take Five” was his most famous track, but his entire catalog overflowed with creativity and inspiration.

Remember his legendary work as you write today. We’ve created a free Spotify playlist to introduce his work, perfect writing music for a December afternoon.

Here’s more from NPR: “Born Dec. 6, 1920, Brubeck grew up on a 45,000-acre ranch in California and he came to music through a circuitous route. In a 1999 interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, he said his first love was rodeo roping. But his mother, who spotted a special talent when he sat at the piano, insisted he not rope anything larger than a yearling.” (Image via)

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Neil Gaiman Writing American Gods Pilot for HBO

On Twitter, Neil Gaiman shared the fact that he is currently writing an American Gods pilot for HBO. We’ve embedded the tweet above.

Click here to read the first five chapters of the award-winning novel, “a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth.” The news of the possible adaptation emerged last year.

If you want to listen to the American Gods playlist on Spotify, follow this link. We’ve embedded the songlist below, a great collection of writing music.

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Best Writing Music of 2012

What’s your favorite writing music from 2012? We’ve created our annual list of the new music that helped us write this year.

Share the songs or albums that inspired you in the comments section and we will add it to our growing Spotify playlist (also posted below)–it currently contains six hours of instrumental music.

Follow this link to read our Best Writing Music of 2011 list. If you want more inspiration, check out Largehearted Boy’s annual list of Year-End Music Lists and Open Culture’s timeless Best Music to Write By list.

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Fifty Shades Of Grey Soundtrack on Spotify

Record label EMI is capitalizing on the Fifty Shades of Grey erotica sensation by releasing a new soundtrack to go along with the book.

Fifty Shades of Grey – The Classical Album is meant to be listened to while reading the three book series. It has 15 tracks on the album, including music that is mentioned in the book such as The Tallis Scholars’ performance of Spem in Alium, Flower Duet from Lakmé, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, and the aria from Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

If you want to sample ALL the music in the book, try Meg Latimore‘s massive Fifty Shades soundtrack mix (Spotify link). It includes 212 songs and 15 hours of music…

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