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Music to study to

Moin (North German Slang for "Hello") Zettlers,

what is your favorite background music for studying?

I love especially two music collections:

  1. The music from the game "Witcher 3":

  1. Music from the game "Gothic":

Do you have different playlists for different moods?

Live long and prosper
Sascha

I am a Zettler

Comments

  • These past weeks my background music has been the white noise hum of lab equipment, but usually it is a bit more stimulating ;)

    I think my favorite study music is Mike Oldfield's first four albums: Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn and Incantations.

    The soundtrack to Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings is excellent for the final heroic hours of deadline!

  • edited October 2020

    Question of studying to music has been floating around in my head for awhile now. Part of me thinks it is a good practice because it can help ease one into a flow state. Another part of me is starting to question it after watching this video on studying, wondering if it saps too much of my focus/attention in the morning.

    Here are a few different resources

    • I've listened to Chilled Cow Lo Fi Hip Hop in the background for a very long time
    • I've used Coffitivity before - it "recreates the ambient sounds of a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better. Proven and peer reviewed, see the research to learn more."
    • I also subscribe to this email newsletter, titled Flow State. Each week they email you different music to help you get into that state of flow

    Also Witcher has such Epic music, but it would be a bit too overwhelming for me while studying. For those who it is fine, I'd recommend the Gaunter o' Dimm Theme because Halloween is almost upon us!

  • Studying: ambient sounds of a rainy day in spring usually. Sometimes some abstract music which is supposed ADD/ADHD people (not sure about the science here, but sure any normal music is too distracting to me because i want to engage with it)

    simple/montone work: 80s synthwave (see for example "stranger synths" on YT) so i get something out of it.

  • edited October 2020

    @sfast I'm showing my age here, but my best studying, writing and focusing happens when I am in a quiet environment. I would probably be OK with something like Handel's Water Music, played quietly, but if I played any of the rock from my youth or more modern music or even "gentle" music played too loudly, it would be a lost cause. My concentration and ability to think would decrease substantially. One of the reasons I'm thankful for headphones - on other people - it keeps my work space quiet. That's the only way I get into and stay in "the zone".

  • not sure about that age thing but i agree with @GeoEng51. Music would never increase my concentration. I do use music but only to decrease my distraction. When i notice myself loosing track of my current work i put on some noise like these:

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • I like to edit with music around, but I normally prefer it not to have words. Or at least not words that I can understand.

    One of my favorites is the soundtrack of the tv series The Last Kingdom. (Which goes well with my current research theme, which also deals with medieval subjects... although not Saxons or Danes!)

    ================
    _Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. _ -- Zora Neale Hurston

  • Wow. I am suprised by the ratio of people who feel distracted by music. Very interesting observation.

    I am a Zettler

  • @sfast said:

    Do you have different playlists for different moods?

    Oh my goodness yes. I've even associated different playlists for triggering different flow states.

    For major production time, it's all about music that puts my mind into more of a trance state. I'll play Ari's Holotropic Breathwork-Fire playlist on Spotify when I'm hitting a project with energy. When I'm getting tired but need to hit my project again, I'll play Ari's Holotropic Breathwork-Water playlist.

    When I'm working in an easy flow, I'm a sucker for Organica, Celtic instrumental music, anything like a coffeehouse playlist (how I miss coffeehouses right now!), or Christopher Tin's ridiculously amazing world choral albums like The Drop That Contained the Sea. (And thanks to this thread I just discovered he put out a new Air-themed album! Woo hoo! Checking it out right now!)

    For resetting, refreshing, and reinvigorating my mind, nothing beats David Byrne Radio: The Beautiful Shitholes or a good ol' Disney Sing-a-long session.

    For open-minded wonder and consideration, it's all about the Interstellar soundtrack. So many more but let's be real: I could share playlists for days. ;^)

    I look forward to checking out all the recommendations in this thread! Thanks for starting it, Sasha!

  • I really like mynoise for all the different generators and drones.
    My go-to there is the "Black Lodges" one together with Isochronic Tones.
    But depending on the task ocean, river, rain and forest sounds work well too (eg. reading). I tend to turn the birds down as they start to distract me again.
    Synthwave and stuff like Carbon Based Life Forms also works well.

    Generally I can't have anything with vocals or they'll disctract me.
    Too much variation has the same effect.

  • This one is definitely the best
    https://musicforprogramming.net/

    From the about page
    "Through years of trial and error - skipping around internet radio stations, playing our entire music collections on shuffle, or just hammering single albums on repeat, we have found that the most effective music to aid prolonged periods of intense concentration tends to have a mixture of the following qualities:

    Drones
    Noise
    Fuzz
    Field recordings
    Vagueness (Hypnagogia)
    Textures without rhythm
    Minor complex chords
    Early music (Baroque, lute, harpsichord)
    Very few drums or vocals
    Synth arpeggios
    Awesome / daunting / foreboding
    Walls of reverb

    Music possessing these qualities can often provide just the right amount of interest to occupy the parts of your brain that would otherwise be left free to wander and lead to distraction during your work."

  • @ulver48 You forgot "quiet" in your list :o

  • edited November 2020

    @ulver48 said:
    This one is definitely the best
    https://musicforprogramming.net/

    I have to say that for me many of the songs in there have way to much going on in the treble department. It's hard on my ears and distracting. But there are some entries I like eg. the start of 19.
    So yes, it is a cool project and I have used it from time to time over the years but it lacks consistency for me. So definitely a "it depends" ;)

    I would again point towards generators like mynoise or calmyleon or the many others out there that can give you all the qualities you mentioned, allowing for tuning the sounds exactly how you want them and without being limited to individual songs.

  • For concentration when I’m trying to learn something, it’s all about the witcher or world of Warcraft (specifically night elf or mulgore zones) soundtracks. @sfast posted the link to Witcher, so won’t repeat that...
    Mulgore:

    Night elf (teldrassil):

    For reading, I like one of various library/rain/fireplace ambience - something along this line:

    For really getting my head down and getting on with work that I have all the skills necessary to do (coding/documentation/etc) but it just needs focus time, my flow state can literally be switched on like a light switch by a couple of electronic music (trance and drum and bass) mixes:
    Above and Beyond’s essential mix from 2004:

    London Electricity’s essential mix from 2008:

    The problem I have with listening to music whilst working etc, is that after I did a music production course years ago, (specifically where they taught analytical listening skills where you try to home in on certain sounds that are in the background, or try to work out the mix of synthesiser oscillator settings/filters, etc), I discovered I naturally did half of the analytical listening without thinking about it (homing in on a background sound/instruments specifically) because I was brought up learning multiple instruments and generally am very musical. I struggle to switch that off now, so I have to find just the right thing to listen to, otherwise it’s incredibly distracting.
    The reason the electronic mixes work so well for me even though they are extremely “busy” is that I can completely lose myself in them. The track lists are SO WELL chosen, that they almost take you along a journey, building up from something simple to a climax in the music, then back down again. I’ve listened to the A&B one easily over 200 times, and it still doesn’t get boring, and has the desired effect every single time.

    I have plenty more too, but these are the top ones for me ;-)

    Great idea for a post! If there’s one thing I love talking about as much as my kids, its music ;-)

  • @m0hawk said:

    @ulver48 said:
    This one is definitely the best
    https://musicforprogramming.net/

    I have to say that for me many of the songs in there have way to much going on in the treble department. It's hard on my ears and distracting. But there are some entries I like eg. the start of 19.
    So yes, it is a cool project and I have used it from time to time over the years but it lacks consistency for me. So definitely a "it depends" ;)

    I would again point towards generators like mynoise or calmyleon or the many others out there that can give you all the qualities you mentioned, allowing for tuning the sounds exactly how you want them and without being limited to individual songs.

    Calmyleon is awesome ! Thank you very much.

  • edited November 2020

    Personally, I find the lack of music to be distracting. External environmental sounds like floorboard creaks, family convos, and outside construction work are unpredictable/new and may catch my attention (I have sensitive ears). The work that I'm doing should be the only "new" thing I'm supposed to attend to. Listening to predictable music (music that I already heard before) helps eliminate all unpredictable stimuli in the background, allowing me to focus on my work.

    I also listen to instrumental music, since songs with vocals distract the verbal part of my brain, which I need to use for studying.

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