This forum is for general discussion about walking and scrambling... If writing a report or sharing your experiences from a route, please use the other boards.

Music while you walk

Music while you walk

Postby Spade » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:20 pm

Hopefully soon we will all be able to get back to some great mountain days. On my walks I usually use my iPod which I find actually can add to the ambiance of my walk. My choices are eclectic and sometimes if I hear certain music or sounds it can remind me of certain walks. I wonder if any other fellow walkers have a similar experience?
One memorable walk on Beinn Heasgarnich, I remember playing Mendelssohn hebridean suite, this coupled with the spectaular scenery really made for a fantastic walk. The music (For me) really does add to the walk.

Posts: 157
Munros:80   Corbetts:5
Joined: Sep 23, 2010
Location: Annecy

Re: Music while you walk

Postby simon-b » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:11 pm

The best music in the mountains is provided by nature. Trickling burns, singing birds, the wind rustling through bealachs (sometimes embellished by the roar of an F15 or RAF Typhoon, of course). I also prefer to keep my ears open as well as my eyes to be aware of potential hazards, e.g. thunder, the wind picking up, a concealed stream, falling rocks and/or someone shouting "Below!" But that's just my take on it. If others find music works for them, and they can stay safe with it, then I accept everyone is entitled to what they enjoy.
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 2039
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:155
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: Music while you walk

Postby Spade » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:15 pm

Yes Simon-b its a great point, the silences and sounds provided by the mountains are as equally contributing to a great days walk. Naturally a wider safety awareness is so important.
Posts: 157
Munros:80   Corbetts:5
Joined: Sep 23, 2010
Location: Annecy

Re: Music while you walk

Postby Skyelines » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:19 pm

I love listening to music, I listen in the car, at home, I can take it anywhere, but when I go out to walk or canoe I listen to the music of the natural world.

The sound of the wind in the trees and creak and groans as they twist, the tinkling trickle that gives away the presence of a hidden watercourse in a bog. The rustle of a disturbed rodent in the vegetation alongside a path that merits a pause to try and see it. The cry of an eagle and the call of the raven, the roar of a stag. The crash of waterfalls and the gurgle of streams. The sound of a dislodged stone tumbling down a scree and the echo from the crags.

You can only hear it when you are there.
Posts: 450
Joined: Jun 11, 2016

Re: Music while you walk

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:20 am

Yep, would agree with what others have said already. The sound of nature ...ideally silence... is what I want to hear when I'm out on the hills. Anything artificial or man made (especially any kind of pop or rock music) is absolutely anathema to me.

For me, very often the best part of any walk is sitting at the summit on my own, with no one else around and listening to...

Silence. :wink:
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 832
Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Location: Dunfermline

Re: Music while you walk

Postby Marty_JG » Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:46 am

I dislike music on the walk and even at the campsite to focus on the natural. It's rare for me to hear silence on the hills though, usually there is some amount of wind, but I like that.

That said there's a small set of wind chimes half way up the 4x4 trail of the Kilpatrick Braes and I've always liked them. I've been tempted to get some chimes to take with me camping, at least to try out.
User avatar
Posts: 1064
Munros:8   Corbetts:2
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Sep 12, 2016
Location: Glasgow

Re: Music while you walk

Postby rodderss » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:52 am

Silence for me. With the odd one way conversation with the dog.

Know people who like music and podcasts , the younger generation
Posts: 121
Munros:39   Corbetts:8
Sub 2000:22   
Joined: Sep 2, 2016

Re: Music while you walk

Postby Mal Grey » Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:34 am

If I were to listen in the hills, Mendelssohn would be a fine choice. However, I too prefer to listen to the world around me, or to the silence on those rare still days.

Where I do enjoy music that evokes the hills, folk and certain classical, is afterwards when the wind is howling against the windows, the fire is on and the memories of the day on the hill are somehow enhanced. This is especially true in bothies or the more basic hostels (we'd never impose it on others though).

I also like to take my guitar and do some folk stuff whilst out wild camping in the canoe, it works for me then. My companions' opinion may differ, but I haven't been buried in a shallow grave yet because if it :lol:
User avatar
Mal Grey
Posts: 3707
Munros:112   Corbetts:20
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Music while you walk

Postby Booga » Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:34 pm

I'm often thinking of certain pieces of music in my head or even humming it to myself if walking alone but somehow the thought of actually playing it on a device doesn't feel right when out in the hills. Perhaps as others have said it's because I want to enjoy the sounds (or silence) of the great outdoors or perhaps subconciously my brain classifies recorded music as one of those things to be left behind when "getting away from it all".
User avatar
Posts: 66
Wainwrights:4   Islands:12
Joined: Jul 6, 2020
Location: Oxfordshire

Re: Music while you walk

Postby Coutts94 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:30 pm

I listen to podcasts when out on the hills, usually just on the ascent when my knees are burning and im out of puff :lol: takes my mind off it a bit, usually about a quarter of the day listening to that and the rest taking in nature and silence, nothing better :D
Mountain Walker
Posts: 70
Munros:70   Corbetts:1
Joined: Mar 22, 2020

Re: Music while you walk

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:14 pm

I take my MP3 everywhere with me whether it's a single day walk or a long distance trail.

The vast majority of time I won't listen to anything all day but there can be some long days when I'm tired and music can give me a lift for the last couple of hours and it's good just to have the option if I fancy it.

A few years back when I did the Pennine Way I had a couple of 30 mile days and music really helped me towards the end of those days when the legs were starting to complain and I needed a bit of a psychological lift.
User avatar
Posts: 1958
Munros:112   Corbetts:63
Grahams:21   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Music while you walk

Postby MusicalHiker » Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:59 pm

As a musician and composer I get a lot of inspiration from walking in the hills... but I’d never want to listen to music while I walk. I love the sounds of nature. Once climbing in the Cairngorms I passed several young guys with a CD player blaring out pop music.... it’s one thing to have it in the headphones, but that was just appalling!
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 105
Munros:13   Corbetts:11
Sub 2000:6   Hewitts:10
Wainwrights:17   Islands:22
Joined: Dec 26, 2011
Location: Beauly

Re: Music while you walk

Postby rgf101 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:36 am

I rarely have the headphones in, but will do occasionally on long slogs. Normally an audiobook though, often something nature-themed. Nothing wrong with having Robert MacFarlane chatting away to you as you walk. I have Tilda Swinton's reading of the Living Mountain to listen to, but not got round to that yet.
Posts: 404
Joined: Jan 21, 2014

Re: Music while you walk

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:47 am

I like listening to songs or podcasts when I go jogging, but not on the hills. The mountains play their own music :D

When walking with another person (my husband in most cases) I feel it would be rude to plug my ears with headphones. Even if sometimes we walk for miles without saying anything.
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 3599
Munros:260   Corbetts:169
Sub 2000:55   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Music while you walk

Postby CharlesT » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:00 am

I too much prefer the silence of the hills, and who would want to drown out the voices of Ravens?

I recall a conversation with a climbing acquaintance many years ago on the relative merits of the Mozart horn concertos. His depth of knowledge was impressive and I asked if he had many recordings of them. Oh no, he said, I have the scores and they're all in my head anyway. :D
User avatar
Posts: 3977
Munros:156   Corbetts:2
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Dec 22, 2011
Location: West Oxfordshire


Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: caramorrison01, dt27348, Huligun, njdunn and 18 guests