I work from home now, and my work and my writing are done in the same place, in front of this same computer. My house is nice and quiet (when Fu isn't begging for food and the pesky teens aren't outside making a ruckus on a playground made for people half their size). To fill the silence, I started listening to Pandora. I've since become addicted to having it on when I'm at the computer. The silence that used to accompany me is no longer good enough.
There was a time, in my college days, when I was absolutely obsessed with Tori Amos. I bought her albums like I buy author's books, and she was the only thing I could listen to while I wrote. I still find her music and inspiration to my creativity, but it's become music that's dated to me. I hear it, and I get a certain feeling of my college years and the things that were going on in my life then. Even that feeling can be too distracting. Or maybe, especially that feeling can be distracting. It takes me from my characters's heads and puts me back into the "character" of Past-me. So Tori's (mostly) off the list. (Plus, a lot of her songs are simply depressing or down-beat, and I'm not into that so much anymore.)
I've been listening to a collection of classical music combined music one "rock" step above that but with vocals (think Sarah McLauchlan and Natalie Merchant). It works well with writing and work because there's not too much energy to the songs--there's not enough in them to take my mind from my work to the music. In fact, if I find a song too distracting, I often discard it from the list that Pandora will play.
I know that many people can listen to all kinds of music while they work and not have it bother them. Of course, I suppose it's what you do for work; when I'm doing something like cleaning the house I want music I can get lost in to take my mind from what I'm doing.
I'm curious how the rest of you feel: Do you listen to music at work? Do you listen to music while you write?