The question was posed on Talislanta FB page regarding how we use music in our gaming sessions.
I understood that this would be a post way to long for FB, so I am putting my reply here.
The questions presented:
a) how many of you use music when you run a game? and; b) if you do use
music, do you mainly play it in the background, or do you use certain
pieces/albums/artists for specific purposes or moments in a game?
2)what CDs/bands/composers do you listen to either while gaming, or for inspiration before gaming?
I have used music in the past at the gaming table. The second part of the question, and question #2 I want to elaborate on.
running WEG Star Wars the main theme would be used to get the players
on track, and while it was playing I would recap previous events, much
like the beginning of the movie with the synopsis scroll.
Since 1993, the game I have run the most often was SLA Industries, a gritty sci-fi urban horror game.
inspiration in SLA Industries I would use anything that brought to mind
corruption, rain, city life, dreams of money and fame, etc. Some of
the music I had on my driving CD at the time:
Faster Pussycat - Ship Rolls In, City has no Heart
Metallica - Master of Puppets, Disposable Heroes, Damage Inc
Duran Duran - Girls on Film, A View to a Kill, Skin Trade
And many others.
During the sessions I was able to play music for background it was important to match the music with the game.
Star Wars soundtrack while running Star Wars, a given.
playtesting Midnight Realms for Talislanta, and a few Cannibal Sector
missions for SLA Industries, I had the Black Angels CD from Kronos
Quartet playing, just at the audible level. Some of the violin strikes
were startling, and completely appropriately timed (players and GM alike
jumped at one point, lol).
Music definitely brings a new dimension to the gaming table, even if low in the background.
main problem I ever had with using music for specific scenes was having
to stop the game to get the correct track playing, or you might be
stuck running a dramatic, dark scene with something upbeat.
Not sure Alien would have had the same feel with the Indiana Jones Soundtrack, lol