In setting up this new blog of mine, I came across this new post by Dyson Logos: http://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/effectively-using-music-at-the-gaming-table-2/
It’s an insightful treatise on the use of music in gaming sessions, but most importantly for me, it is uncannily related to one of the main reasons for starting my blog, the sharing of dungeon adventure soundtrack mixes.
I’ve always made an effort to use music in my gaming sessions, and it has usually gone well (although it can sometimes be a little overwhelming as a DM).I always use a laptop. I DM with a laptop because I make my adventure notes in a text editor. I combo with these notes and other random papers on the little tables I set up (such as character sheets and maps). Using music has thus been fairly easy, and something that I have done from the very beginning of DMing.
I agree with Dyson in that music with lyrics should be avoided. I use a lot of songs from soundtracks, such as anything composed by Ennio Morricone or Eduard Artemiev. A lot of the music I use is more atmospheric, to set a mood essentially, but during battles I like to take a moment to queue up something a little more upbeat, like some good instrumental psychedelic rock (see this). I personally don’t mind taking the time to do this, because I feel that it adds so much more excitement to the battle. Otherwise I usually let iTunes play randomly in my large “adventure” playlist (although if a silly song, or one that just doesn’t fit comes on I will switch it.)
Anyway, this post is long enough, so I will end it here. I will be posting the first Mystik Hertz dungeon adventure soundtrack within the next week (hopefully).