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Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

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Offline Rosen Trevithick Reading
21 Jan 2015, 05:41 PM | Post: #1

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Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

This post was last modified: 21 Jan 2015 05:42 PM by Rosen Trevithick.
Has anybody ever started a book with a suggested playlist of music tracks? I'm thinking of songs that exemplify certain themes and feelings from the text.
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Offline Mads Sorensen Reading A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter
21 Jan 2015, 05:48 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

This post was last modified: 21 Jan 2015 05:48 PM by Mads Sorensen.
My gut reaction is no.It's a bit like showing images of your characters. Leave everything but the words to the reader

Chances are that prospective readers don't know many of the tracks, in which case it may annoy them. It would me.
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Offline Rosen Trevithick Reading
21 Jan 2015, 05:56 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

(21 Jan 2015 05:48 PM)Mads Sorensen Wrote: Wrote:  My gut reaction is no.It's a bit like showing images of your characters. Leave everything but the words to the reader

Chances are that prospective readers don't know many of the tracks, in which case it may annoy them. It would me.
Quite a strong reaction. Thank you.
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Offline davidwailing Reading
21 Jan 2015, 06:01 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

My gut reaction is also to avoid this. I think Mads is right that it may annoy those readers who don't recognise the tracks.

Having said that, music can play a strong role in a book. I worked quite a few songs into both Bang and Fake Kate, but they were bonuses for readers who knew them rather than a suggested playlist. You can have a similar effect by characters referencing songs in their dialogue and thoughts, instead of the author listing them upfront.

It might make a great related blog post though, as part of the book's launch?
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Offline Rosen Trevithick Reading
21 Jan 2015, 06:09 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

I was thinking of a blog post too. Maybe linked to from the book?
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Offline TechnoHippy Reading One book at a time
21 Jan 2015, 06:17 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

The blog post is a good idea.
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Offline davidwailing Reading
21 Jan 2015, 06:30 PM | Post: #7

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RE: Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

Yes, as a reader I have no problem if a book includes a link to a list of music - that feels much more optional.
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Offline JMac Reading
21 Jan 2015, 06:56 PM | Post: #8

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RE: Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

I have included music in both Chickens and my current work in progress, but I don't think readers would be hugely disadvantaged if they didn't know the tracks. As a reader, I love music to be an important part of a story, but it is what it means to the characters rather than the actual tracks, I think. I don't think I would go so far as to seek out a playlist and download it to enhance a reading experience. I am sure many avid readers also love music, but not sure how much of crossover there is when it comes to picking your kindle. Interesting!
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Offline alexroddie Reading The Terror by Dan Simmons
22 Jan 2015, 09:29 AM | Post: #9

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RE: Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

This post was last modified: 22 Jan 2015 09:29 AM by alexroddie.
I'm in two minds about this. I associate music powerfully with stories, and ever since I started writing I have used music to evoke feelings, characters and settings as I write. In my mind I associate specific symphonies and concerti by Mendelssohn and Schumann with The Atholl Expedition, for example, and I had thought about including them in the final published version of the book. Beethoven's symphonies hold strong meaning for me; in one way or another his particular strain of romanticism underpins everything I write. And I often associate books I read with pieces of music I know, even if I don't listen to that particular song when I'm reading the book.

However, I've come to the conclusion that these associations are intensely personal, and readers will likely make their own musical connections (if that's how their mind happens to work). I don't think reading a chapter of Atholl while listening to a specific piece of music would do as much for the reader as it does for me, because the reader's associations and connections are simply different. The meaning of music is not absolute – it's symbolic and open to interpretation.

I've come to the conclusion that imposing a musical soundtrack on readers is little more than an indulgence or affectation on the author's part.
Offline Kath Middleton Reading Hell, yes!
22 Jan 2015, 10:17 AM | Post: #10

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RE: Including a list of recommended listening - yay or nay?

I tend to agree with Alex. I'm a classical gal and Beethoven was my dad's favourite composer. I grew up with that music as a background (though in my opinion, he needed an editor - most of his stuff went on too long!)
Having said that, I read and write in silence. I love music for itself but as a background it's intensely distracting - to me. I think what works for the person writing won't necessarily work for the person reading. I have no objection to an author stating at the end of a book, 'I wrote this to the strains of...' but I don't want a playlist. I choose my own music and it's probably not yours.
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