The ideal music to read a DWJ novel to.

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Wed Sep 5 15:44:38 EDT 2001

Philip said...
> I'm finding this very difficult.  I seem to use quite different
parts of my mind
> for reading and music-listening.  Perhaps that's because I'm more on
> absolute music side than the programme music side.  That said, most
of my
> thoughts below seem to be programmatic...
> And half the stuff Dorian mentions I haven't even heard of :-(

I have extremely eclectic tastes. :-)
> > With "Fire and Hemlock" should go a mixture of Steeleye Span
> > folk-rock; IIRC they did version of both "Tam Lin" and "Thomas the
> > Rhymer") and 80s pop.
> Gosh, no!  String quartets and cello music, almost exclusively :-)
Try Dvorak's
> cello concerto for starters.

Oh, how could I have forgotten about the celli?!  I am such a fool.
Of course there should be some of that too.  I agree about the Dvorak,
and I'll add Brahms' Cello Sonatas (two of my all-time favourite
pieces of music!).
> (I have toyed with the idea of writing a cello concerto based on the
book.  But
> it probably won't happen...)

That would be so cool!  Have we any cellists here who could play it?
I quit learning when I was 16 or 17.

> > "Dogsbody" wants something Goth-ish but dreamy - maybe some of The
> > Mission's slower stuff.
> I can't make a mental connection between Dogsbody and any sort of
> Strange.

I have no idea why I made that connection.  But I did.  And maybe a
little prog rock would go in there too.
> > "The Ogre Downstairs" has to be 70s rock...Whitesnake and Deep
> > interspersed with the Bay City Rollers (!).
> :-)  We are never told what sort of music Indigo Rubber play, are
we?  But it's
> a great name for a group!  (Should we start one?  There must be
enough of us who
> can play/sing...)

I sing a passable alto, and, while not actually playing anything
properly, can get a decent noise out of almost every instrument (flute
excepted).  Hallie and Becca both sing too, I think - I know Becca's a
soprano, and she plays the piano too.  And you play brass, don't you,
Philip?  There's a fair-ish start!

> > The other Chrestomanci books need something soberer.  Some of
> > organ stuff, perhaps.  Except "Witch Week", where I find myself
> > thinking The Damned.
> But something eastern for the temple of Asheth, I think...

Yes, you're right.  Something Egyptian-ish, I think, in a minor key.
> Right.  Some more.
> Sudden Wild Magic.  What would people suggest for the jingly sort of
> played in Arth and the Pentarchy?

Something with lots of tambourines and xylophones? :-)  Maybe a
New-Age-y something.

> Yes, although the Anne McCaffery I'd have picked is the second Pern
trilogy -
> Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums...

Oh yes.  My brain must have been dead last night; I should have
thought of those!
> I like music treated sensibly in fantasy and SF - see the Tough
Guide entries on
> Song etc. for how not to treat it - and this usually means writers
who are also
> musicians.
> Anne McCaffery is I think quite an accomplished singer.

She trained as an opera singer, I believe, and sang professionally in
a touring opera company for a while.

> Charles de Lint puts the music to his protagonist's songs in an
> appendix at the back of "The Little Country", which is a nice touch.
(And I
> have still only learned to play one of them!)

I'd forgotten about him, too - I think he jams with a folk group quite
often too.
> Who else writes books and is a musician?

Mercedes Lackey sings and plays the guitar.  She has quite a nice alto

I've a notion Emma Bull is a singer, too, and Steven Brust.
> Also with a musical theme, try "Space Opera" by Jack Vance.  The
> series by Alan Dean Foster tries hard, but doesn't quite make it in
my opinion,
> but if you try it you may disagree.

Oh, and I should have mentioned Guy Gavriel Kay's "Fionavar Tapestry";
one of the Brahms cello sonatas features strongly in the first book,
"The Summer Tree" (and, in fact, is what inspired me to get hold of a
recording thereof; I wanted to find out what it sounded like!).  It's
been a while since I've read it, but I think music features in his
"Tigana", too, and "A Song for Arbonne" is full of troubadours and the

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"I feel that if a character cannot communicate, the very least he can
do is to shut up!"
--Tom Lehrer

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