The soundtrack of a game

Just a short post today, posing a question I had never even considered (being the newb I am) until last weekend.

Do you use music to set the mood when you game?

To me, even the thought of music intruding upon my gaming session would have been distressing just a short time ago. Then I ended up listening to a song out of Apocalyptica's Inquisition Symphony album during a game last weekend and I must say, it actually did add to the atmosphere. Everyone agreed to try adding in a little music some other time, though I want to be very careful with it, seeing as I still think too much background noise could be utterly distracting with my group.

But now that the seed has been planted, the ideas roam rampant and unchecked. I'm thinking of using some Blue Öyster Cult for a Mutant Future game I've got planned. Can't argue that Dancing in the Ruins would make for an...interesting mood setter.

I suppose it only goes to say that as an icebreaker a bit of music can help set the tone and style for the game. Some eerie chords play as your stalwart adventurers explore ancient ruins...a rousing drum solo calls the charge of battle to mind...a harp sends the lulling message of a peaceful valley into the fires of the imagination. All things that can be achieved without music, but with the addition of music the scene is better understood and more vividly imagined as different senses come into play.

After all, how interesting would Walt Disney's Fantasia be without its musical compliment?

I suppose the concept of props beyond player handouts have never really appealed to me. Heck, I don't even use minis or battlemaps unless absolutely necessary as space at my table is at a premium and I don't like to clutter things up. But the more I game the more I realize that gaming is, at its best, an experience that can use more than mere words to help convey the setting.

So how about it? Have any of you had good experiences in utilizing music while gaming? Or bad experiences for that matter?

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