Though it's not always noticeable, music often has a great impact on day to day life. What you listen to on your way to work in the morning helps to put you in a positive state of mind to make interactions with coworkers and clients pleasant. When you're sad music can help you release your emotions. Music is the final touch that helps make a romantic evening memorable. At the movies, underscores and soundtracks emphasize the emotions in certain scenes. Songs stir memories and feelings, both happy and sad.
When I'm writing I enjoy listening to music. It helps me settle into certain time periods and creates a barrier between fantasy and the real world. I clearly recall the first time I realized how important it is to listen to the right kind of music for each story. My brother and I were in our teens and while I locked myself in my room writing a medieval fantasy story, he was across the hall playing hard rock music on his guitar. It didn't take long for me to realize that my magic-wielding knight couldn't live up to his potential with electric guitar screaming in the background.
Hard rock is perfect accompaniment for some of my vampire books in a modern setting, but it nearly killed the medieval fantasy I was working on at that time.
It's many years later, but playing the right mood music when I'm writing is just as important now as it was then. Certain songs and styles of music fit certain characters and stories. When I'm working on the first draft of a book, I almost always listen to music. However when I'm polishing a story or working on edits I prefer quiet.
How do you feel about music, not only if you're writing a story, but throughout the day? Does it inspire you or influence your moods? What do you enjoy listening to?