Horror Novel Soundtrack

While writing, my internet is usually turned to the wonderful allclassical.org (thank you DD!)

But then there is the specific music I seek out, or discover, that is divinely perfect for the story.

The soundtrack for my latest horror novel includes:

1. Swan Lake
2. music from the film version of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita
3. lots of opera, including arias from La Pique Dame, Lulu, Elektra, and Lucia di Lammermoor

What music is inspiring your story?

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32 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Gypsy! I listen to classical music while writing, as well. I tend to favor spare, minimalist classical heavy on violins and cellos, so I listen to a lot of Philip Glass (like the soundtrack for The Hours, and his Wendy Glass cello). But for the nightmare scenes in my story I put on darker music – there are some really great tracks on the 28 Days Later score, and the instrumental tracks on NIN’s ‘Ghosts’ are pretty atmospheric also.

  2. Those are beautiful. I listen to classical while I’m writing, too.

    If I had to pick one, it would be the Moonlight Sonata. It features in one of my principal character’s back story. She plays it tearfully, broodingly. And for her wicked stepmother–the Queen of the Night Aria, as performed by Damrau.

    Oh, by the way, I thought you might be interested in this site I just found:


    I know you don’t do steampunk (neither do I), but it has a lot of pro writers blogging about the Victorian period, which is a good thing. I didn’t have any trouble joining.

  3. I listen to a lot of classical and instrumental music while writing myself. I’m particularly fond of Colm Mac Con Iomaire’s solo album–its modern Irish folk. I also listen to a lot of Beethoven or soundtracks while writing (completed my thesis to Maurice Jarre’s soundtrack for Dr Zhivago).

    I don’t always listen to instrumental, though. For my first (and thus far, only novel), I listened to Pete Townshend’s All the Best Cowboys have Chinese Eyes almost ad nauseum.

  4. I’m so glad you’re enjoying AllClassical.org, Tasha 🙂

    Oddly, when I write, I have a hard time listening to any classical music. I find it distracting, I pay too much attention to it. Movie soundtracks are far better for me, or at least modern composers. It’s like I can weave those into the background of my mood without them pulling me out of my mental groove. I also like Nox Arcana a lot, very moody and atmospheric. My next musical purchase is going to be this: Ultimate Horror Movie Collection.

  5. Hi Haystack,

    Glad you like the music. 🙂

    And thank you so much for the link. I’m definitely going to check it out.

    Now I’m very curious about Moonlight Sonata in regards to your character! And the Queen of the Night aria!

  6. Hey Beth,

    Lara’s theme from Zhivago is one of my favorite pieces of music.

    I read somewhere a little anecdote by Jarre. On oscar night another contender had tapped him on the shoulder and said something like, “I just want to congratulate you. My grandson says I have no chance in hell of beating you tonight.” Not the exact quote, but I love the good humor from the competitor. 🙂

  7. Hey DD,

    I just checked out that cd. That’s a cool and interesting mix of music. 🙂

    I remember you mentioning Nox Arcana before. Shall have to check them out again. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  8. Hi Stephanie,

    So glad you stopped over here! Funny that you should mention The Hours. I listened to that during my last novel. 😉

    I’m not a minimalist fan per se. But that was so fitting. I’ll have to check out his Wendy Glass cello that you mentioned. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

  9. Excellent post. As you know (hur-hur-hur) I’m inspired by music and made this post the subject of my Sunday Tweet.



  10. […] Tweet of the Day: Horror Novel Soundtrack […]

  11. Thankee Ralfast!

    And yes, I know your love of music. 🙂 🙂

  12. I can’t listen to music while I’m writing…it usually gets on my nerves. I do, however, love to put on a movie in the background. Yeah, I know…I’m weird.

  13. Heya Colby,

    Weird gal here, too. 😉 I also sometimes have a show on in the background. And also, sometimes I prefer just utter silence.

    It really all depends on my mood.

  14. I remember that anecdote! I wish I could remember who said it to him…

  15. I can’t listen to music while writing. I tend to get caught up in the music and stop paying attention to the writing.

    I DO listen to music to get me in the mood for certain scenes or to write a certain type of story. Mozart’s Requiem is a piece that inspires me when writing endings to novels. The soundtracks for Betty Blue, The Lover and The English Patient (all by Gabriel Yared) are favorites.

    Clockwork Orange, both the book and the film, would be imaginable without classical music.

  16. Duh! UNimaginable without classical music.

  17. I love how well classical music sets a mood without been too distracting. But it doesn’t work when trying to write hard-boiled

  18. Hey Diane,

    Listening to music beforehand makes a lot of sense.

    And no worries, I knew what you meant. 🙂

  19. Hey Chazz,

    For hard-boiled, the old jazz standards are great. Oh, and ragtime!

  20. I’m currently using The Ink Spots as background music

  21. How about some Frank Sinatra?

  22. Ralfast, the classic Standards always work. 😉

    Put some on, pour a nice martini, and there you have the perfect atmosphere for a golden era crime novel.

  23. I used it in a retro-scifi setting, but yeah, works just as well. 😉

  24. Hi Tasha, I enjoyed listening to all the above soundtracks and watching the last one with the play. I so much love plays. I am not a writer or even close to it. As you know blogging is therapeutic for me at times.

    The only time I can write with music is when I am feeling a certain mood and I go with it to express myself more. But I only write when I blog or emailing a friend. Now I love how music play on a person heart strings in movies, advertisements, plays, and so on.

  25. Hi!

    So happy to see you back. Glad you enjoyed the music! 🙂

    Do you have any favorite plays?

  26. Hi Tasha and thank you:) I have one that I try my best to see each year. Which is the Nutcrackers. Why the Nutcrackers, because I fell in love with it the first time I seen it when I was in elementary and have not got tired of it yet. This was the first play that open my eyes to the theaters.

    If your ever in Oregon, there is a small town that has Shakespeare plays outside. No video or camera taking is aloud. I am fortunate to have a theater at the corner of my block which we go to once a month if not every other month. The recent play I have seen was Dance of the Vampire and Dinner/Table for One.

  27. Oh, you saw Dance of the Vampire? Cool! It’s playing at Theater des Westens in November. But the ticket price is way out of my league…

  28. Yes, and it was amazing. It has a part in it that I had screamed. But I don’t want to spoil it for you. I found online the tickets at your location start pretty much at 30E which is not so bad ( http://www.stage-entertainment.de/musicals/tanz-der-vampire-berlin/tickets/uebersicht.html ). Those must be the seats all the way on top. I don’t know how your theater is set up. You probably have to check the seating arrangement online or go to the theater and ask.

    Our theater is a decent size and we sat in the middle. I honestly don’t remember how much we paid for our tickets. I just know we had to wait a few weeks because almost everything was sold out and it was on a week night.

    The earlier you book since you know it is in November the less your ticket will cost. Plus it is so worth it. it is a bit funny, but not corny funny, and a surprise might make you scream 🙂

  29. Oh, Starting Over…THANK YOU so much for that link. Those are fine prices. The site I’d found before was insanely overpriced.

    Thank you again!!

  30. p.s. I’ve seen the film on which it is based, so I think i know the “surprise” you mean. 😉

  31. Your very much welcome 🙂
    I wonder if the film and the play is 100% similar or is it editing like a movie and a book. When you go please let me know. Oh the surprise could not be shown on film, lol. You will see, lol, and then when you do email me what you think of it so that we won’t spoil it for many future customers.

  32. Quick look, ya if your really interested you have to buy soon. I found a site and it showed me the seating arrangement. There are actually good seats for the price but not so much left. Here is the link

    Go straight to booking seating


    Click on the red category number five. Then click on your seat you like. Add in cart and it will tell you what date and time the ticket will be for. It is not much left in that price. I have seen 11 seats so far. If the date does not fit you, call the number in the banner head. Good luck.

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