Monday, March 21, 2005

Soundtracks for Romance Novels?

This is very interesting, but I hardly think it's destined to become The Next Big Thing. Give these people points for creativity, though: At Book SoundTracks they're making, well, soundtracks for books.

I don't see how it's ever going to work. I mean, you're supposed to plug a CD into your player and then snuggle up on the sofa and open your book. Sounds good so far, but wait. A movie soundtrack is synchronized to the action on screen. The music we hear during a car chase is not the same music we're treated to during a bedroom scene (unless the participants are especially athletic). So how can they make a soundtrack for a book? The music will always be a few beats faster or slower than whatever you're reading. And do you really want beating-up-the-bad-guys music when you're reading a tender scene?

It's common for writers to listen to mood music as they work. I once put Clair de lune on "repeat" while I was writing a love scene, and it played over and over and over, all that rainy afternoon. Now I hear Debussy in my head every time I see people kissing. But if you were to read that love scene of mine while listening to, say, Wagner's The Ride of the Valkyries, I don't think your reading experience would be enhanced. (The couple in this scene is not...uh, athletic. I write "sweet" romance, which never goes much further than some graphic hand-holding.)

At Book SoundTracks, they recommend "Bliss" if you're reading contemporary romance. For a romantic suspense, they say you need "Edge of Midnight". And for your historical-Celtic reading pleasure, they'd like to sell you "Emerald Passion". Sounds like they're working hard to match the tone of the music with the various romance subgenres, but I'm still skeptical.

Does music enhance your reading experience or detract from it? Please hit the "comment" button and sound off.


Anonymous said...

Hey Brenda,
The only time I like music is when Im working or when I want some down time, not when I'm reading,
and when I listen to my country music, it has to be loud, (you just love country music don't ya Brenda) ;-D

Brenda Coulter said...

Not. Hardly.

Stop trying to stir up trouble, Janice.

Anonymous said...

I thought that would get a rise out of ya,

Sela Carsen said...

I can write with noise, but not music. Oddly, I prefer to read in complete silence. And I'm on the edge of my seat to see what "graphic hand-holding" looks like!

Katie Hart said...

Reading while listening to music, especially fairly new music and new books, melds the two forever in my mind. It's usually subtle, but often (becomes less as time passes) I find myself thinking about the book when I listen to the music again. LaRue's Tranparent CD can still remind me of Stephanie Grace Whitson's books. My favorite music gets associated with so many things it becomes neutral after a while.

It's a little distracting for me to read while listening to music, mostly when I come to the end of an exciting chapter and realized I didn't even hear my favorite song on the CD. But I can read through anything. I know the soundtracks wouldn't work for me, since I read faster than most people. Unless they made the CD short - how many hours of music are they going to give people so they can make it through a whole book?

BTW, I hate country music with a passion. :)

Anonymous said...

Hate is a strong word.
I grand you that todays country can't hold a candle to the country
of the 70's and back. but I like other forms of music as long as it is the old stuff.

Anonymous said...

Music and reading tend ot distract from one another in most cases. Ocassionally I will put on a mellow instrumental album or two for background "noise" but if I am truly into the book I do not really pay attention to the music it's just sort of there.

There's only one time I intentionally played music while reading and that was only for one short scene because it was the author's inspiration for that scene. Otherwise I want to be immersed in the fantasy world of the book while I am reading. Yes it is not only recreation it is my escape.