The purpose of this post is to share some of my favourite music for when I want to immerse myself in work and shut the rest of the world out. Music is a very important thing in my life; I listen to a wide range of music styles but here I am going to suggest some music styles that are particularly good for getting work done.
For general background music, I like to discover new music from the following styles:
- Instrumental Jazz
- Instrumental Bossa Nova
I don’t have any favourite jazz or bossa nova bands so I rely on Spotify to find new albums whenever I get tired of what I’m currently listening to.
Ambient music works really well for tasks such as programming and tech related work. Here are my recommendations:
- Brian Eno
- Jens Buchert
- Jean-Michel Jarre
While remaining in the electronic realm, trance and electro sometimes work well for me, especially when I need music that packs more punch and infuses a sense of urgency to what I’m doing. This can turn out to be ideal also in the afternoon when I generally tend to feel a bit sleepy. I don’t have too many favourites here, although I do love to listen to the album Berlin Calling from Paul Kalkbrenner every now and then. The Tron soundtrack is also awesome, as is that of The Social Network.
When I need to be really pumped up and I don’t mind lyrics I turn to my favourite music in the form of euro dance and rock. I have an extensive euro dance collection from the late 90s and early 00s and that’s what I put on in these occasions. My favourite rock band is Queen and they are usually the ones on my playlist when I need some comforting music to help me through some menial work that I would be dreading doing.
You can also check out classical music such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Many people work well with classical music. It’s not my favorite for working but I do use it at times when I’m tired of everything else.
There is some good research done with regard to music and concentration:
Music stabilizes mental, physical and emotional rhythms to attain a state of deep concentration and focus in which large amounts of content information can be processed and learned. Baroque music, such as that composed by Bach, Handel or Telemann, that is 50 to 80 beats per minute creates an atmosphere of focus that leads students into deep concentration in the alpha brain wave state. Learning vocabulary, memorizing facts or reading to this music is highly effective. On the other hand, energizing Mozart music assists in holding attention during sleepy times of day and helps students stay alert while reading or working on projects.
I use Spotify for most of my music listening; if you don’t have a Spotify account you might want to check out Digitally Imported, a website where you can listen to several electronic styles, most of which are ideal for working to.
Another site worth checking out is Focus@will. You will need to sign up but when you’re done with that you’ll be able to get access to music that is supposedly scientifically proven to help you maintain your concentration. Worth trying out and seeing if it really works for you. I don’t personally use it anymore because the alternatives previously mentioned work well enough for me, but I might come back to this in the future.
Music Streaming Services
Like I said I use Spotify (€9.99/month in Spain, or €6.99 in Malta), and I recently learned that they have geographical pricing in play, see this interactive chart of Spotify prices around the world. It’s pretty good and has a library of around 30 million tracks. There are also some very good rivals which I’m trying out, and I’ll update this post if I decide to switch.
Here are the main Spotify rivals. The size of their music libraries is pretty much the same:
- Apple Music (€9.99 or €14.99 for a family plan)
- Amazon Music Unlimited ($9.99 or $14.99 for a family plan)
- Google Play (€9.99/month in Spain and €6.99 in Malta)
Hope this is helpful and I’d love to know what music you all listen to while working!