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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

All We Need is Music, Music, Music…

Pandora may be the greatest invention since sliced bread. Seriously.

I usually have music in the background when I’m writing. Sometimes it’s job is to white-noise away* distractions, sometimes to inspire or motivate or relax. Sometimes it’s just fun to have there, for no particular reason. I used to compile endless mix tapes – then mix CDs, then mix playlists – so that I always had a collection of music for the mood I was in. I spent hours sorting through my music, trying to amass the perfect combination of words, melodies, and emotions so they were there when I needed them – because there’s nothing more annoying than wanting to listen but not having the right stuff to listen to.

Then along came Pandora. What a fabulous thing – to be able to have any kind of music at my fingertips in an instant. And it’s free! I don’t even have to sort through things or figure out what goes with what – the beautiful computer wizards do that for you. Sure, sometimes you have to skip over a song**, but generally speaking, the hours I used to spend sorting can now be spent doing other (translation: productive) things. Things like writing. Or time-wasting. (teehee)

I also think it’s cool that you can not only make/save your own stations, but that you can direct other people to them too. I can let you listen to the music that inspires or comforts me, the stuff that I need in the background when I’m concentrating or that I rock out to when I need a distraction. I have seen a handful of authors include postscripts or afterwords that include either a song list or information about the bands/albums they listened to while writing or heard in their heads while their stories were gelling. Add these things to the ever-increasing popularity of e-books and online reading platforms, I wonder if we’re getting close to a world in which authors provide soundtracks to their books. I can’t decide if I’d like that or not. I suspect it might be like seeing the movie of a book I like – once the movie studio’s vision of the actors and locations are stuck in my head they replace my own, and usually not for the better. I like what I create in my head, how the people and places grow out of the words. It’d be the same, I suspect, with the soundtrack to stories.

Still, not everyone feels that way – witness the popularity of movie adaptations – so I guess it wouldn’t be a bad thing if the tech went that way. It wouldn’t be for me, but I suspect it would be seen as a plus to a lot of people. Me, I’ll stick with my Pandora stations of my choosing and the music in my head…

If you’re curious, here are a few of my Pandoras:

*Does anyone else do that – make non-verb words into verbs? I do it a lot. (1) – it makes me giggle. (2) – it’s surprisingly descriptive. (3) – I like making up words.***

** Or six – it’s weird: for me there is either one song I don’t like or a slew in a row, which seems to fly in the face of algorithmic math, but what I know about algorithmic math couldn’t fill a dixie cup, so who knows, maybe it’s not weird. Sorry, rambling…

***I also like footnotes.

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5 comments to All We Need is Music, Music, Music…

  • I use Pandora too, but I never realized you could share your lists with others (never thought of that!). Cool idea!

    We subscribe to Rhapsody over here, but I think Pandora does a much better job of “finding” songs for you. They have a better handle on categorizing tracks into the right genre. But yes, sometimes I’ve skipped a handful in a row too.

    I’m going to check out your lists… Oh, I how love peeking into your head. πŸ˜€

  • ARGH! Day two of bad commenting! *expletive removed*

    Oh. How. I. Love. Peeking. Into. Your. Head.

  • Teehee – so glad to offer you a glimpse of the man behind the curtain! πŸ˜‰

    I’ve not used Rhapsody – I’ve read some reviews comparing the two tho, and while I totally don’t understand the algorithms used by either, the explanation as to why Pandora is “better” at finding stuff you will like was oddly compelling. So was the fact that Pandora has a free version. teehee.

    And I think EVERY blog comment program thing should let you edit your own comments. Seriously. Some of us (ahem, she said, looking pointedly at herself) think faster than we type and occasionally need to edit!! πŸ˜‰

  • Pandora is awesome. I’ve found so many new artists there based on previous favorites.

    And I’ve actually considered having background music on while I read books to my students. Just one more thing to try and figure out, though (trying to get the right music to match the mood of the chapters, etc…). It’s a fun thought, but I doubt I’ll ever do it. One thing I do like to do for some of my stories is to project images up. While I’m sure it might frustrate some of my students, I feel like it helps the students who can’t visualize what they are reading (something I think that makes many students not enjoy reading).

    And I was big on footnotes for awhile there, but only with my nonfiction stuff. They’re great fun.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

    • I like that you go A/V when you teach Paul – it’s a great idea and probably makes a world of difference to all the kids who don’t learn as well through self-visualization while having relatively little impact on those who can/do. Music would be a very cool addition, but I can imagine it’d be a lot of work to set it up and to get it just right – and I think the music component would be even more subjective than visuals. Plus, well, people are freaks and you’d probably take a lot of grief for anything you’d choose – the PC police are everywhere, (everywhere!) and they don’t tend to like anything original, thought-provoking, or non-traditional. And I’m pretty confident in guessing that your choices would follow at least one, if not all, of those paths – otherwise, why bother? πŸ˜‰

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