You would think that, as a musician writing books about musicians, I would listen to music while I wrote. But to be honest, I tried doing that when I was first drafting Book One, and frankly, I found it to be quite distracting. My brain would start to gravitate toward the lyrics, the chord progressions, and whether or not the particular band I was listening to might possibly be coming through town.
However, as I was working on Book Two [ed. which is up to 26,000 words], I stumbled onto an awesome discovery: "Epic Music Mixes" on YouTube.*
I found that these marathon videos (some are eight hours long) were the perfect background soundtrack to my particular brand of writing. Go ahead - play one of them. After a few minutes, it'll become obvious that these things sound like an endless loop of music from a sci-fi/fantasy movie trailer. For me, they provide great atmosphere that inspires my writing without being distracting.
So for all you fantasy authors out there, try putting one of these on while you compose your masterpiece. It just might help you bring that movie in your head to life.
* I stumbled onto these as I was listening to The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary medley, which, itself, is an excellent epic music mix.