ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Music to Create By

Updated on July 23, 2019
PAINTDRIPS profile image

Denise has been studying and teaching art and painting for 40+ years. She has won numerous prestigious awards for her art and design.


Music and Creativity

There seems to be a lot of personal preference about music: what music is best for your brain and creativity, what is right to listen too and what is wrong. I know I had some opinions about my children listening to loud screaming music while supposedly doing homework. Some can do it because they can tune it out. Others just want an excuse to be distracted from the unpleasantness of schoolwork in general. The question is what is best?

As an artist, I like to listen to music while I create, but it has to be instrumental only. I feel like having words sung to me distracts me from what I’m doing. Maybe I’m easily distracted or maybe it’s single-mindedness, whichever, I prefer classical music. Whenever I tell people that, they look at me like I just grew a third eye or a tail. Yes. I like Mozart, Vivaldi, and Rachmaninoff. I can’t help it. It’s beautiful music without words and allows me to create on a bed of melodious mood-making music. I’m listening to the piano music of Helen Jane Long right now. I especially love the violin of Joshua Bell. Fabulous.


Creativity and The Brain

I’m sure you have heard that you have two sides to your brain. On the one side, you do creative things like sing, play music, dance, create art, arrange flowers, even cook. On the other side, you take care of mundane things like money, calculate the cost of a dress and mentally figure if you have enough left in the bank for this purchase or that. You read and write with the academic side, while you draw and sing with the other side.

Do a little experiment. Think of a piece of music right now. Maybe something famous like The Sound of Music or something from your past like Elvis’ Jailhouse Rock. Now say the words without singing. Don’t even hum. Just recite the words as if they were a poem. You will find that you can’t do it. You won’t be able to get more than two lines into the poem without having to either join the music with it or you will start singing the words involuntarily. The reason is that you memorized the words WITH the music. It has been saved on the creative side, the music side of the brain and not the academic side.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.


What kind of music do you listen to when creating?

See results


For this reason, I hate playing popular music while I’m creating. Without even noticing, I will begin singing and suddenly I’m no longer creating, I’m remembering the words and music to sing along. I know lots of people who can shut out everything around them while they are creating but if you can do that, why bother putting on music in the first place?

Ted-X on Brain Improvement

I watched a Ted-x YouTube video on The science of improving your brain’s creativity | Nick Skillicorn | TEDxDurhamUniversity

What really hit me from this Ted-x sequence is when he mentioned the things that inhibit creative thinking. He mentions the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: the part of your brain in the front of the forehead behind your eyes. This part of the brain controls your impulsive thoughts or rash actions. As he says, it is working best when meeting your in-laws for the first time or at a job interview and keeping you from saying or doing something stupid. It is the part of the brain that acts as a filter and keeps you from acting out when you are angry or spouting curse words when upset. But it also will keep you from acting on creative thought as well. This focused part of the brain must be switched off if you are to create freely and create new innovative things.

Light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright, until you hear them speak.


The Flow of Creativity

Some people can play the radio while working, but I find this even more distracting than just playing popular songs, because every three or four songs a human voice will command my attention and focus to try to sell me something or tell me about the next set of songs, when all I want it to continue with my creative flow.

For me, it is like being in a free-flowing river. Near the middle the water is deep and the flow is moving along at a nice pace with little or no resistance. However, nearer the shore, there are rocks and trees, boulders and underwater snags that can cause eddies and whirlpools. The human voice is like that for me. It can pull me out of the flow into a whirlpool where I am going around and around creatively but getting nowhere until I can find a way back into the flow if I can find my way back.


Asking for Opinions

I asked a group of friends their opinions about what the best form of music to create by was, and here are some of their answers:

Josh: I believe the types of music has a lot to do with your current mood. Same as art.

Kimberly: Ever heard of "Bon Iver"?

Desta: I say smooth words... that's what I work to every day.

Kevin: Yann Tiersen. Explosions in the Sky. Hammock. You'll like Yann Tiersen.

Amber: It varies for me but generally I enjoy music that stays upbeat and energetic, keeps me going and moving.

Olivia: a nice instrumental with variations in melodies would be for me..... Christian and Country.....with a classical twist...

Amanda: Movie soundtracks!! Some of my favorite soundtracks are to movies I've never seen, so it doesn't matter at all. Let's see... The Assassination of Jesse James has a kind of sad feeling, Doctor Who season 4 is beautiful, then there's Atonement, Ender's Game, Pan's Labyrinth, and Pushing Daisies (both seasons). I pick a mood and go from there, but I always have a score or classical playing in the background when I'm reading or studying.

Kevin: Never go wrong with Last of the Mohicans

Tim: Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, or Mozart.

Amanda: Oh! And if you enjoy Explosions in the Sky, try the Moonlit Sailor station on Pandora. It's the perfect gateway drug to that style of music. Or! (Why didn't I think of this before?) the Friday Night Lights soundtrack is absolutely incredible. Go listen now!

Lara: Good question: I actually do listen to music, I listen to funk or a station called Zen, on Spotify. I like things without words or that gets distracting.

Creative Flow Without Words

The best ideas and the best creativity, in my opinion, come when you are relaxed and focused on the creative task. Lyrics in music has always taken me away and pulled my focus back to the words, away from the creative flow. What do you think? Can you create with lyrics playing? Do you bother to listen to music at all while creating?


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)