Soundtracking Books

Does anyone else use a particular album, artist or music to enhance the mood, or help the atmosphere of a novel?

I don’t mean that I play a particular album/artist/genre all the time when reading a specific novel. However some music just seems to fit certain books.

For instance, I found myself playing Al Stewart-Between the Wars whilst reading Philip Kerr- Metropolis recently. (The first of his I’d read, following a recommendation on the forum, I really enjoyed it, thanks.)

Other examples include:
Darker folk rock from Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Blackmore’s Night etc. for Game of Thrones.
Rush-2112, ELP-Brain Salad Surgery for Asimov’s Foundation Series.

I am aware it might sound a bit pretentious, but I’d be interested to hear other people’s thoughts and book/music combos.

I don’t think it’s pretentious, Degsy, but it is something I’d never thought of doing. I trained myself to become immersed in the world of the novel to the point where I’m indifferent to anything about me. This applies to Dickens (a PhD) 30 odd years ago and Joyce who I relish.

It also applies to popular literature, M R James, William Hope Hodgson, Le Carre, Susan Hill etc. I do have recordings of Irish songs and light opera that I’ve played before and after reading Ulysses - Joyce’s world is full of music, but I don’t play them while reading. I want total concentration in the zone.

I do play music, without lyrics, when I write or mark. But it could be a recording of rain for all I care. I’ll probably read David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue soon, but I wouldn’t listen to Sandy Denny or Richard Thompson while reading. I’m of the generation who didn’t listen to the radio or records when doing my homework, when I became a student I’d play my records, mostly folk-rock loud, but I want to listen to the music or read, not both at the same time.

Having said that, I don’t see anything wrong with that, I just don’t do it myself.

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