Ambient Music Inspired by Books

Before there were movies and television series, video games and YouTube, operas and plays, there were books.

Original image by Kate Ter Haar
Contrary to it’s imaginative brothers and sisters, books do not rely on visual clues and impact to bring their point across. The images that accompany a good reading are all created by the reader itself – and thus they differ from reader to reader. Even if the author may have had one particular picture in mind, everyone is free and even advised to create their very own.

In this respect, books are far closer related to music than to plays or movies. In music, the visual cues are limited to CD covers or maybe music videos. Yet, while purely listening, the listener’s mind draws it’s own pictures.

Furthermore, reading and listening to music often goes hand in hand. That applies for all kinds of songs, but especially for those without lyrics. That’s why we have gathered a selection of ambient music pieces that have been inspired by books or generally create a calm reading atmosphere to enhance your reading pleasure and boost your imagination.

Sherlock Holmes

He is one of the, if not the, best investigators in the world. At least in the fictional world. Sherlock Holmes is a phenomenon, no matter if you delve into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s crime novels, or enjoy watching the new and modernized BBC television series.

Which soundscapes could set the mood any better for a (re-)reading of the famous stories of the private investigator from Baker Street 221B than the sound of a tea spoon swirling in a cup, Dr. Watson’s eager scribbling, and the soft notes of Holme’s violin play? Background sounds inspired by Sherlock Holmes do also go very well with other kinds of mystery or detective stories.

Harry Potter and friends

Before there was the movie – or the movies – there was the books! This applies to our favorite wizarding student Harry Potter as well as to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and his friends from middle earth, and the Starks and other families from A Song of Ice and Fire.

Fantasy novels of the kind of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit intend to transport you not only into another time and place, but into a completely different world. Fantastical sounds of dragons, elves, and battles accompany your reading if you choose to tune up some Lord of the Rings inspired sound mixes.

Similarly, the sounds of sword fights, courts, feasts, and the wilderness of Westeros create a perfect background atmosphere for the reading of G.R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire that inspired the amazing and acclaimed television series Game of Thrones.

The biggest variety of inspired soundscapes in our library, however, comes from the fantastical and wondrous world of Harry Potter. Sound mixes inspired by Hogwarts and it’s surroundings, Hogsmeade, the Ministry of Magic, or a ride on a hippogriff are just as common as sounds showing color by being dedicated to the houses of Griffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw.

Other Stories

The examples given above are dedicated to more common and popular pieces of literature nowadays, yet every book inherits a story, setting, environment, scene, or feeling that is worth being set to music. For example,

Of course there are other sounds as well that go great with a reading and a nice cup of tea or hot chocolate, but those are for another article.


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