Screenwriting : To Music or not to Music? by Paul Grammatico

Paul Grammatico

To Music or not to Music?

Hi Everyone:

Since I have been cooped up in the house (as are many of you), I've been curious on people's procedure on how they go about their writing. I've always wondered if people listen to music while they write or not. I can understand not listening to music in order to concentrate, but are there other reasons? If you do listen, what types of music do you listen to and why? I've always been conflicted by this and I write with and without music. Plus, I'm always looking for new stuff in my playlist. Thanks for your feedback!

Phil Clarke

I tend to go for music without lyrics as this can be distracting. So I often compile playlists of film scores following the tone, mood, style in which I'm writing.

Jason Mirch

I always end up getting too distracted. I am the kind of person who can't have music, talk radio, tv, etc. in the background because I start to key in on what they are saying.

Jim Boston

Paul, I sure DO listen to music when I'm writing...and what I put on depends on what my screenplay's all about.

Tashia Hawkins

I usually go for music, that set the tone of the project i'm trying to complete.

Derek Reid

I do listen to music sometimes, but it'll be the same stuff on repeat for a particular project so it quasi-fades into the background.

Richard P. Alvarez

Music suited to the mood of the project, always instrumental. OR 'nature sounds' - babbling brook, ocean waves, thunderstorm and gentle rain. I wear headphones so this helps me to 'stay in my head'. I don't always do it - but I'd say more often than not. Otherwise I'm distracted by noises.

Eric Christopherson

I used to write in silence, but now I have two children who interrupt me constantly and have taught my wife to interrupt me constantly too. My work still gets done, but now it's done in thirty second intervals.

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

I listen to John Williams radio on Pandora when I'm vomiting out my first drafts usually. During rewrites I typically will just put on whatever I'm in the mood for. Currently Guster or Autoheart radio. The only time I don't listen to music is when I'm doing clean up passes, looking for typos, holes, things like that where I can't flow and really need to focus.

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