Music for writing

I love music and listen often in different modes. I’ve written about music listening quite a lot. Many of the posts in this category are relatable to me. I have some tips related to my messing around with listening.

Streaming from is my favorite source because I really care about how good music sounds. Tidal streams offer the possibility of super high fidelity which is required for me. I’m a spoiled brat with regard to music quality and have the speakers to back up this bold claim. And they’re not huge or expensive, either. One can stream very conveniently and cheaply and powered Bluetooth speakers make this exceedingly convenient, cheap (writers, take note) and physically compact. These Audioengine powered Bluetooth high fidelity speakers accept streams from a smartphone or any digital source that offers Bluetooth. Newer Bluetooth-enabled devices have the guts to support fabulous musical realism. You have to select the right hardware for that.

No additional components are needed. The days of the huge-o, behemoth hi-fi system are over. All you need is the right speaker set and a Bluetooth hi-fi quality device; two items, max. Well, 3 if you count both speakers. Those of us who are not so grody that women don’t speak to us will discover the female human prefers little speakers or none. And tolerance of audio testosterone is minimal if even present. Guy writers take note.

Streaming offers probably ALL of the selections that have been mentioned in this whole thread for around 10 bucks a month. No media to futz with, then. Tune in and write, whatever your tastes. There are more tunes available than all the contributors to this thread (in total) could listen to in their collective lifetimes. Every imaginable genre, artist, and type.

Habits? Sometimes I need quiet while writing but often I prefer some wordless music as I type away with two and a half fingers. I lost part of one in a swordfight with a pirate who claimed to be a writer.

If you go to Tidal and look me up, all my playlists should be accessible and much of that content is writing-ready. My user name on TIDAL is audioengine.demo9.

Enjoy the tunes!


I have changed my background sounds since my May 19, 2017 post above. I no longer listen to youtube videos as I write.

I now use, both the web-based and iOS-based versions.

For folks who enjoy ambient sounds/noise rather than music (I know the title is “Music for writing”, sorry!), I cannot stress how cool myNoise is.

There is a huge assortment of choices, from instrument based pads, to weather, industrial sounds, variations of white noise, plane cabins, chimes…you get the idea. And they are continually adding new ones.

The myNoise interface is basically a sound mixer. Each sound comes with 10 sliders that let you adjust different aspects of the generated sound. So one sound, say Thunder Storm, can be tweaked to be a full on howling storm with rain and thunder, or only the sound of gentle rain drops, or rain & howling wind, or distant thunder, or some variation thereof.

The other cool feature for me is that you can stack sounds on top of each other. So if you like that droning tones generator, but want to add a pinch of distant thunder and a tiny sprinkle of airplane cabin, you can do that, and then save your creation.

I believe you need to be a donor to access this feature in the web version, although as a non-donor you can simulate it by launching multiple browser tabs or windows. It is free in the iOS version.

Regarding cost, the iOS version is free, and they start you out with 5 or 10 sounds, and then you can sample and purchase additional ones as you like. I ended up purchasing all current & future sounds on the iOS app for a flat fee, and donated to the web-based version to get access to the sound stacking feature.

I created a stacked sound that I use only for writing, and it seems to help me focus. helps me get into the zone more quickly. I guess it’s a Pavlovian thing: with the sound in my bluetooth headphones, I know I’m supposed to be writing. (In addition to the ambient sounds, I also have typewriter clacking in my headphones generated by laptop key presses – I’m obviously into audio reinforcement!)

This setup works really well for me. Hope it helps someone else,


  • Not affiliated with myNoise, just a happy customer in evangelist mode this morning. :smiley:

As the OP, I hereby judge “noise” is close enough to “music” to be on-topic. Your post is safe!

Celebrate with the auditory stylings of your selection!

I listen to wordless music or songs in unfamiliar languages :slight_smile:

Me too. I prefer Gaelic.

My playlist:
I’m still standing - Elton John
Twist and shout - The Beatles
Blame it on the boogie - the Jacksons
Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
Patience - Take that
California Dreamin’ - The mamas and the papas
Rewrite the stars - Zac Efron, Zendaya
Common ground - Anthony Ramos
Killer Queen - Queen
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Bellbottoms - the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Taxman - the Beatles
Big In Japan - Alphaville
The greatest show - Hugh Jackman
Superheroes - the script
Believer - Imagine dragons
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Beat It - Michael Jackson
Mia and Sebastian’s Theme - Justin Hurwitz
Unsquare Dance - Dave Brubeck
This is me - Keala Settle
I am the walrus - the Beatles
A Million Dreams - Zif Zaifman, Hugh Jackman

Update on some more stuff I’ve discovered since the original posting:

Soundtrack to Altamira (a wonderful movie BTW) – great instrumental from Mark Knopfler
Soundtrack to Valerian – some tracks with vocals, some without
Dance with the Dead – a programmer friend put me on to this group, high-energy lyricless electronica

If I have music while writing, it’s going to have to be film soundtracks or classical music. Vocalizations tend to distract me or worse…find their way into whatever I’m writing.

I miss the good old days when NPR had music shows through the day, but thank goodness for online streaming.


When I’m writing, coding or doing anything remotely intellectual, I prefer Mozart. Tchaikovsky’s nice sometimes, but I start to sing along after about half an hour. Same with Grieg.

I have my own playlist and mostly It consists of classical compositions. Such music is inspiring and help me to concentrate on writing assignments. The Four Seasons by Vivaldi is my favourite especially it comes in handy when I work on academic papers

Many thanks for this suggestion, Devin - very conducive of an almost-dream state. Now I must get the movie!

For me it is Oldies Goldies from 60’s, 70’s, 80’s. We have actually one radio channel that plays with non stop so there’s no commercial’s to interrupt. Oldies Goldies are easy to “not” listen. Even I’m writing I found my self tapping my foot or humming and somehow it doesn’t disturb writing but sometimes even helps.

A friend just hooked me up with a group named Lost Years – retro wave synth. No lyrics, just wave synth goodness. Combine with the Tron Legacy soundtrack and Dance With the Dead and you have hours of futuristic writing joy.

I can’t write with anything rhythmical playing. For me, when necessary, it’s either straight noise-cancelling headphones or SomaFM’s Drone Zone. For doodling, a bit of Nils Frahm does the job.

No Man’s Sky Soundtrack
Hyper Light Drifter Soundtrack
Machinarium Soundtrack
Transistor Soundtrack

I also try some mediation music too. Most recent, I listen to apknite concentration music. This make me more focus on my work. It’s really productive, work well for me.

Does Peppa Pig theme song from kids’ room next door count?

Awesome list 8)

Thanks to devinganger for redirecting me to this list. I skimmed through the list and will go through it again and try all the links provided.

Personally I listen only to instrumental music at a low volume. If I work on a website I crank it up higher. I use headphones with noise cancellation.

For the most part I shun any music with lyrics as it is too distracting unless it is something like chanting of mantras and I am writing about India philosophy which then sets a Indian mood. I will sometimes listen to music in lyrics of another language that I don’t understand as it will not distract.

Otherwise for writing (I only do non-fiction) I prefer classical music of different regions as in Indian classical music, Persian classical, Arab classical, Chinese and Japanese classical music with traditional instruments. Classical Spanish and Flamenco guitar the later if I need an upbeat mood to keep me awake (I don’t drink coffee). These are not electric based and much more tonal in quality.

If I am coding then then I like to listen to virtuoso instrumental guitarists like Jeff Beck, and Joe Satriani as well as Flamenco music. And sometime rousing classical pieces like Marche Slav by Tchaikovsky or Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Bach.

Later I will give some links to different music genres that you might find interesting and useful for your writing. But in meantime I recently I stumbled across Didula, he is one of Russia’s most popular musicians who I never heard of before. He is a guitar virtuoso who blends his training in Slavic music with Spanish Flamenco and techno style music leading to an interesting fusion. It tends to be melodic and upbeat and calming music. Nothing that jars the nerves. 98% lyric free.
Here are a couple of samples: … adio=1&t=3

And his “Greatest hits.”

I prefer to download the tracks so as not to get distracted by what’s on the screen for downloading you could try

Link redacted: facilitates copyright violations. – Mod.

I’ve been experimenting with generated sound instead of music. There is a good selection of tracks at, and you can adapt and combine them.