When I write, unless I'm looking for a particular mood, it's either movie or game soundtracks. If I'm designing anything goes.
When I'm writing music and lyrics, the music usually sorts itself out.
I rarely listen to music while I am writing, but when I do it has to have little to no lyrics. I noticed that when I actually do put some music on while writing I listen to the Drive soundtrack:
@High_Nunez: The Mass Effect score can be great, lately got quite into the Avengers and Prometheus scoree, there's literally thousands of them. It does shape the mood of what you're writing, though, so The Benny Hill theme will not work for a melancholy piece, obviously.
I love instrumental guitar - I'd check out anything by Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, Ethan Brosh. Angel Vivialdi, John Petrucci, Mike Martin, Liquid Tension Experiment, Andy James, and George Lynch. That has everything covered from Jazz, Blues, Rock, Metal, Djent, Fusion, and Classical.
Yeah, I do it, but as these other people said it's VERY hard to write while listening to music with lyrics. So you're best bet is to go with classical music. I actually listen to a lot of SIGUR ROS actually because while it does have "lyrics", it's in Icelandic and so ethereal that you tend not to focus on what's being said.
Skip to like 0:30 for an idea on the second one.
EDIT: Also classical music. Chopin and Debussy are my favourite. Try youtube for their piano solos.
EDIT 2: I keep thinking of more. Ludovico Einaudi (Which has been said) and Yann Tiersen. Yann Tiersen is probably my favourite artist and his music is perfect for writing.
I'm a hobby-writer and have similar issues. I get the best ideas either while working or while lying in bed. So I suggest you get some mobile devices you can take with you, from a simple pen and paper to a tablet pc or dictation machine, whatever you prefer :)
Listening to music is a distraction, in my opinion, too.
Use your keyboard!
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