Music to Write or Edit By


Good writing, like good editing, requires attention to verbal detail, and that takes concentration. Most of us who work with texts in one way or another spend extended hours in daily concentrated work. So much of the process of writing, rewriting, and editing is about cutting out the extraneous and going beneath the text to hear and feel the sound of the words and the logic of the ideas as they resonate internally. Cognitively, music can help with this process by creating the right tonal space for text work.

For those writers and editors who like to tune out the exterior verbal world with a soundscape of independent music, sharing listening resources is a good way to support the independent composers, musicians, and sound artists who contribute (unknowingly, indirectly) to our work. At the very least it makes the connections between independent musicians and their writerly listeners more visible.

A note about supporting independent artists

If you like a composer or performer’s work and want your money to directly support the music and the artistry, there are a few things you can do. BandCamp, SoundCloud, and the curation site MixCloud are good places to search for independent resources.* If you like what you hear, consider buying the music directly from the artist and/or making a donation. Attend shows whenever they come through your area. Share independent music resources with your friends and colleagues.

* For an interesting look at BandCamp and SoundCloud as platforms for independent musicians, see David Hesmondhalgh, Ellis Jones, and Andreas Rauh, “SoundCloud and BandCamp as Alternative Music Platforms, Social Media+Society 5, no. 4 (2019), DOI:10.1177/2056305119883429.

Photo: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, © Theresa Truax-Gischler 2016.

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