Friday, March 12, 2010

Books with soundtracks

I have mentioned before that music can be inspiring for writers, painters, and other artists. I, too, find that music helps to alter my mood and can greatly enhance the ideas that form when I am writing (provided, of course, that the music fits the scene in my head).

We are already well aware of the critical role music plays in film, hence awards for Best Original Score and our ability to summon the Chariots of Fire theme song at will (you're picturing them running down the beach, now, aren't you?). I recall reading an interview with an actor (forget which one) who said seeing the final film was always an amazing experience because the music made the film... the scenes as he remembered them lacked the intensity they had after the score had been added.

If music can provide such a powerful impact, why not make it part of a book? Particularly now that e-readers are becoming more popular and the technology for them will only improve. Wouldn't it be terrific to read a book and listen to the music that inspired the author to write a particular chapter? To be transported into the same emotional state as the writer? I think this has the potential to completely transform books into a more interactive medium (although I still have reservations about e-books).

I have been thinking about the idea of books with soundtracks for a while and was interested to see that at least two others had the same idea (see the comments on the e-book technology link above). There may come a time in the not-so-distant future that our reading experience is augmented by music that fits the story.

What do you think of the idea?

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