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Good Tunes to Work to, Part I

April 10, 2011

I had a roommate at high school who was a musical genius to me. She would sit at her desk solving problems for her Advanced Maths A level with one hand, and every now and then her other hand would suddenly rise  to play her invisible violin to the Dvořák concertos streaming from our speakers. If ever there was living proof that music and learning go well together, she was it.

Years later, I am still listening to much of the  music I first heard in that dorm room.

(Thank you Maiko).

Choosing music to work to is always a bit tricky, because it’s hard for me to just hear the music without actually listening to it. I am easily engaged by lyrics, dramatic solos, thundering crescendos… But put something on that gets my head bobbing involuntarily, and I can slip into a ‘zone’ for hours without even feeling the time go by.

That state of flow, famously described by psychologist  Mihalyi Csíkszentmihályi is the ultimate work state. In fact, Professor Csíkszentmihályi  actually uses a music metaphor to describe it as  “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”

Doesn’t that sound exactly like where you want to be!?

In my quest for getting transported to that place, I’m putting together a playlist that helps me shut the world out and get those twin powers: focus and productivity.  Channel your inner superheroes..“Wonder-twin powers….Activate!”

(In my mind I can also hear Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid saying ‘Focus, Daniel-san!!’..but I can’t find it on You Tube to share with you..)

Research suggests that music that has a tempo close to our resting heart beat (60 beats per minute), is most conducive to concentration. All I know is that good music makes me happy, and when I’m feeling happy, I do good work.

Here are some  of the tracks I listen to for working.

Now go! Flow !

  • Anouar BrahemLe Voyage du Sahar .  Trio of Oud, Accordion & Piano
  • Ino Hidefumi Living Message. Jazz piano / electronica from Japan – Not sure what to call it, but I like it.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach Suites for Cello Nos. 1-3.  Beautiful, unaccompanied Cello.
  • Brian EnoMusic for Airports.  Not tunes, just trippy ambient sounds but bizarrely soothing. I forget it’s on, which is good.
  • Franz SchubertPiano Sonata in B flat Major Andante Sostenuto.  Lovely and peaceful.

What music do you listen to when you’re working? Click on  COMMENTS  to share, and I will include them in Part II.

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110 Comments leave one →
  1. Natalie permalink
    April 11, 2011 7:54 am

    Thanks Hana for this. I especially like Bach’s piece. Often I feel we don’t have enough music in our lives. You just reminded me to turn it on!

    • June 1, 2011 9:44 pm

      Hi Natalie, I feel the same way. My days just seem a bit richer when I remember to put on music that I really love, instead of just settling for whatever is on the radio. We need to indulge ourselves in some way!

  2. Evelyn McCorristin Peters permalink
    April 11, 2011 12:14 pm

    I am always amazed by my time spent in “the flow”. It most consistently happens when I paint. I only realize the passage of time when the light has significantly changed in the room. I am puzzled why I can no longer see the canvas well and realize it’s because the sun has set.
    I am always challenged to find the correct music when I create. Often it turns into a distraction rather than accompaniment. I look forward to trying your combination of selections…to iTunes I go! Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

    • June 1, 2011 9:43 pm

      Hey there Evelyn, it sounds like you don’t have any trouble getting into the flow in the first place, which is the hardest part for lots of people! Hope you enjoy the music, come back and tell us what works! 🙂

  3. Susan Lee permalink
    April 11, 2011 3:51 pm

    One of my favorites — Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, all 3 movements. Perfect for solving tough problems — Starts moody for when you are pondering and cogitating. Then light and bright for when you need to take a break. Then the final movement of motion and speed for when you know you’ve got a deadline and you have to be done!

    • June 1, 2011 9:47 pm

      Good analysis Slee! It’s so beautiful, but hearing it being practiced for years through the little round windows of the piano rooms at boarding school has forever connected it in my mind to those long, cold, hallways!

  4. Natalie Honein permalink
    April 12, 2011 7:47 am

    One piece I love when writing is Windmills of your Mind (Les Moulins de Mon Coeur). I particularly like the jazz rendition of it (with no lyrics – less distraction) from Howard University’s Jazz Ensemble. Here is the long link.

    http://www.howard.edu/library/music@howard/mp3s/player.cfm?file=HUJE%2F2009%2FWindmills.mp3&name=Windmills+of+Your+Mind+(Les+Moulins+de+mon+coeur)+%2F+Howard+University+Jazz+Ensemble,+2009–Fred+Irby+III,+Mus.Dir.+%2F+�+HUJE.

    Another very popular one, but that I always appreciate, is Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – Winter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCLpqkIDlXs

  5. Tamara permalink
    April 12, 2011 10:26 am

    There’s also an interesting link between Baroque music and enhancing memory and concentration. More confirmation to the power of flow!

  6. April 12, 2011 11:33 am

    Exactly – Especially the largo and adagio movements, which tend to be between 40 – 60 beats per minute.

  7. Salman permalink
    April 18, 2011 3:24 am

    Brian Eno is one of the true pioneers of what we now know as ambient music, and has also been a strong force in the world of ‘Generative Music’ – music that is continuously altered within a set of pre-determined parameters, which can either be randomly triggered or left to essentially make itself. Basically it never sounds the same twice.

    He even has an iPhone App, checkout BLOOM:
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloom/id292792586?mt=8#

    Or THICKET (not his, but also very cool):
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/thicket/id364824621?mt=8

    • June 1, 2011 9:51 pm

      I love the expressions used when users describe using these, like “I got lost in the thicket for an hour tonight”… Cool suggestions, thanks!

  8. June 1, 2011 2:00 pm

    Totally different to my choices! I like electronic, instrumental music for working to. The Knife and 65daysofstatic are two that I listen to quite often when working, which is odd as both are fairly noisy, raucous bands in their own ways. I don’t think many other people could cope with it on in the background when trying to concentrate!

    • June 1, 2011 8:36 pm

      Hey there!
      I think it’s true that in some ways, especially when you are really on a roll and excited about what your’e doing, raucous music can get you hyped up and motivated. By the way, enjoyed looking at your pottery blog — I’m an amateur potter myself! Thanks for the suggestions!

  9. June 1, 2011 2:01 pm

    Ha! One on the “not” list for ya: Cats. Great, great musical, but too eratic and too many lyrics for writing to.

  10. June 1, 2011 2:08 pm

    I’ll have to try the “trippy ambient sounds” — something tells me I’ll like it!

    🙂

  11. June 1, 2011 2:13 pm

    Very cool and not at all what I was expecting. Airport Noises! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    • June 1, 2011 8:38 pm

      Hello Rufus, yeah the response has been unbelievable! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  12. The Dream Chaser permalink
    June 1, 2011 2:21 pm

    Music – -The Universal Language

  13. June 1, 2011 2:35 pm

    I like to listen to Burial while I’m reading. It’s very good for late night contemplation.

  14. Cocktails of History and Prose permalink
    June 1, 2011 2:36 pm

    Love that list! I’m finishing a historical fiction manuscript and music is key! But…I am one of those weirdos that listen to Classical (like nobodies bizness, Take Elgar’s Enigma Variations for example) but also love to rock out to The Joy Formidable; Whirring (best of both worlds I guess).

    • June 1, 2011 8:43 pm

      Hi Andie! You’re not a weirdo at all (unless we both are…) ?!
      My music taste is super eclectic too, sometimes music just speaks to you, it doesn’t matter what genre it is, right? Thanks for stopping by.

  15. thor27 permalink
    June 1, 2011 2:41 pm

    Music is a key to living without it life is dull. Neat blog !! Visit http://thor27.wordpress.com sometime.

  16. June 1, 2011 2:50 pm

    its so interesting how music can help you and set your mood. great post!

  17. June 1, 2011 2:58 pm

    I often play music while working on photography projects. What I listen to depends on what I’m photographing and the mood I’m going for.

  18. June 1, 2011 3:01 pm

    I bought a cassette tape of John Williams Plays Bach and Scarlatti when I was in college after a summer of listening to a classical guitar student practice while watching the sun set over the river.

    I played it for years until it finally wore out, imagining a quiet sunset every time I heard it.

    Over the years I’ve built a collection of Williams and Julian Bream playing Bach guitar and lute suites. They are my go-to “ambient sounds.”

    I’m looking forward to checking out your suggestions and others posted here. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    • June 1, 2011 9:56 pm

      I love how that peaceful memory came back each time you listened to the piece, music is so powerful and evocative that way. Great suggestions, thanks – and I like your blog 🙂

  19. June 1, 2011 3:30 pm

    I listen to loads of different music when working but their are probably three or four that I can call on repeatedly:

    Brian Eno – ‘Ambient #4: On Land’ – tramps all his other ambient albums (though they are good to work to), though if your down or stressed/tense this makes you feel worse.

    Arthur Russell – ‘The World of Arthur Russell’ – this the ultimate music to work to, you get steady but light rhythm, plenty of repeatition and ambience, it sits in the background but also works well as you end up typing to the rhythm or at least I did.

    DJ Shadow – ‘Entroducing’ – just great deep mood music, an classic album and one that I’ve often used when working and reading.

    The Cinematic Orchestra – ‘Everyday’ – the jazzy tracks can be distracting but the mellow, downtempo tracks work a treat.

    Plus these are all great albums in their own right!!!

    • June 1, 2011 10:00 pm

      Hi Liam, so happy to get such excellent suggestions from a real music connoisseur ! (I checked your rockin’ blog!)
      Thanks for sharing!

  20. June 1, 2011 3:36 pm

    Explosions in the Sky.

  21. June 1, 2011 4:21 pm

    I listen to “Haru No Umi” by Michio Miyagi over and over and over again when I need focus. It’s a traditional Japanese piece written for the koto and shakuhachi, but I have 16 different recordings of the piece, including one recorded by the NY Philharmonic. And then there’s Smetana’s “The Moldau” or any recording by pianist Jon Nakamatsu – he interprets Lizst, Gershwin and Chopin like no one else out there. I enjoy your blog! Keep up the good writing. Kaizen!

    • June 1, 2011 10:08 pm

      Wow, great suggestions, thank you! Also might have to take up some suggestions from your blog on parenting !! 🙂

  22. June 1, 2011 4:45 pm

    I live for Hip Hop. It’s like literature for me. The playfull use of words and the beats are honey to my soul. Great piece of writing my friend. Guys i’m new on this site, could you check out my blog and tell me what you think. Go easy on me, i just began 🙂

    • June 1, 2011 8:56 pm

      Hey there, thank you! I agree, I love hip hop too, especially some of the older stuff by Common, the Roots, etc. but ‘working’ for me usually means writing, and I cannot concentrate when there are lyrics, albeit great ones, flying around the room! Thanks for stopping by, will check out your blog.

  23. June 1, 2011 4:49 pm

    It all depends on what I’m working on… if I’m writing or editing somebody else’s writing, I can’t listen to music that has lyrics. But if I’m working on an art project or something like that, I need something with lyrics to occupy the language part of my brain. 😀 I almost always work with music on though… it helps me keep my mind from wandering.

  24. June 1, 2011 5:35 pm

    I need relaxing music when I read….so right now it’s The Menahan Street Band or Herbie Mann’s Push Push. Sometimes I throw one of my Oscar Peterson vinyls on. I seem to fall asleep quicker with that on though.

    I need fast/be happy music when I work, which is why I’m working to Foster the People’s album Torches

    For sleeping, it’s City and Colour.

    • June 1, 2011 9:02 pm

      Hey there, Oscar Peterson is amazing, and I will have to check out your other suggestions. By the way, I love the explanation on your blog about the experience of vinyl and the experience of the music. I totally understand and agree with what your’e saying! Thanks for stopping by.

  25. June 1, 2011 5:41 pm

    I totally know what you mean by “the zone.” Film scores, new age piano solos, and hymns put me in the zone. It’s a great place to be. But I have to be careful, because some music totally distracts me from doing anything productive whatsoever.

    • June 1, 2011 9:10 pm

      Yup, I was actually going to talk a bit about film scores in Part II. Definitely good work music. Hymns are good too but it’s a bit tricky because I usually end up singing along as well! Thanks for commenting.

  26. June 1, 2011 5:54 pm

    I’ll give it a whirl. I know the bach but thats about it. Wish me luck:)

  27. June 1, 2011 6:08 pm

    Thank you Pandora. Sometimes I just pick a genre and it plays random songs. I use it all the time. You can pick an artist or genre but it just depends on my mood I’m in. Usually I like the meditative new age music. It’s soothing and calming.

  28. June 1, 2011 6:21 pm

    Recently what I have get into;

    ……………………………………………… Prince – When Doves Cry .

  29. June 1, 2011 6:46 pm

    As someone who can hardly stand studying in a quiet environment, I appreciate this article! will def have a look at these tracks!

  30. June 1, 2011 6:50 pm

    I plan to download these immediately! gracias.

  31. June 1, 2011 7:10 pm

    you tube music/neil diamond/odyssey from jonathan livingston seagull

  32. June 1, 2011 7:41 pm

    Music definitely gets me through the day. I’d be bored to death without it. Thanks for sharing your list. 🙂

  33. June 1, 2011 7:49 pm

    Someone Like You by Adele is great to listen to while working or studying (which is exactly what I’ve just been doing/listening to!).

    • June 1, 2011 9:16 pm

      Funny you should say that, was just practicing my headstand to Adele’s Make You Feel My Love last night 🙂 I don’t know her other music but I find it such an uplifting song and she has a great voice!

      • June 4, 2011 7:18 pm

        This might sound weird but I need a good headstand song. And Adele is not it. I’ve tried many. My most played while doing headstands are…Yann Tiersen’s La valse des monstres and Le moulin…but I need something new now!

      • June 4, 2011 8:53 pm

        I agree that it’s not ideal. Hmmm. Will work on it. Stay tuned, so to speak :), for a post on music for yoga.

  34. June 1, 2011 8:07 pm

    Great blog, love reading what other people listen to, whilst they work. For me I also listen to instrumentals while writting.

    Pelican – City of Echos (Post Metal)
    Karma to Burn – Appalachian Incantation (Stoner Metal/Rock)
    Samurai Champloo – Soundtrack (Hip Hop/DJ beats)
    Cowboy Bee Bop – Soundtrack (Jazzy/Blues)
    Beastie Boys – The Mix Up
    Isis – Celestial (Post Metal)

    ShaunFright
    http://www.horrorhavenreviews.wordpress.com

    • June 1, 2011 9:17 pm

      Cool, thanks for the suggestions! Will check them out.
      Update: WOW, I had no idea about this virtual choir — all the voices sung over the Internet !! VERY COOL. Thanks.

  35. June 1, 2011 8:33 pm

    I do my best writing and editing to blues, jazz, and classical. Thanks for the post that tells the world what you and I already know! 🙂 More folks need classical music in their lives, but they just don’t know it.

  36. June 1, 2011 8:38 pm

    I still struggle with listening to music and concentrating. I need complete silence when writing or thinking…..However, when doing something that doesn’t require my utmost brain capactiy, I do like to listen to music…. I like jazz, particularly instrumental jazz (Pat Metheny –Afternoon)……I find I get too easily distracted by singers and lyrics!! 🙂

    OMG I have played Dvorjak’s music before in an orchestra. It is beautiful—particularly his New World Symphony! 🙂

  37. June 1, 2011 9:19 pm

    Great suggestions! I’m going to check them out. I often need to work to music that doesn’t have lyrics, like a few others who’ve posted comments. I love Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overature. I also just discovered Eric Whitacre’s lux arumque as sung by a virtual choir (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs). This one has lyrics but I find they don’t distract me.

  38. June 1, 2011 10:10 pm

    Spot on.
    Thanks for sharing!

  39. June 1, 2011 10:22 pm

    I’ve been listening to the Decembrists today, and one I really like is OK Computer by Radiohead. Dunno why, but they both do me well for working.

  40. June 1, 2011 10:31 pm

    Hana,

    Great list! As a writer, I enjoy background music. However, I have to be careful in balancing the thoughts in my head and the sounds in my ears. I agree with you on Brian Eno. Schubert is also an excellent choice. I’ll give the others a try.

  41. June 1, 2011 10:58 pm

    I have always found music to go well with many activities. The trick, as you mentioned, is finding the “right” music!

  42. June 2, 2011 12:49 am

    I enjoyed the post. I feel like the music that helps me work depends on the type of work.
    If I’m writing and need inspiration, I go with Neko Case, Andrew Byrd or Belle and Sebastian. For energy, I like Bob Marley, The Hold Steady and Radiohead.
    Keep on posting

  43. June 2, 2011 1:28 am

    In complete honesty, the type of music listened to has no relevance to how well or accurate work is performed. As a music-lover myself, its clear to me that its whatever makes us happy that drives us to reach that “zone”. From metal to jazz either could inspire to reach that level of nirvana (no pun intended).

  44. June 2, 2011 2:23 am

    I have such an eclectic taste in music it depends on my mood and what I am actually working on…
    – Night on Bald Mountain
    – Chronix Grit Radio (rock/Metal Internet radio)
    – DI.fm Digital Internet radio stations such as Soulful House and Chillout are really good
    – Bliss N Esso (Aussie Hip Hop)

    I warned you i like a lot of different stuff 🙂

  45. June 2, 2011 2:58 am

    You’ve hit the nail on the head here!

    I tend to work best when listening to jazz or classical. Sometimes soundtracks which comprise both!

    So for my suggestions I give Yoko Kanno and Shiro Sagisu, both terrific composers who worked on two of the most popular anime ever, Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

  46. Joe Labriola permalink
    June 2, 2011 3:40 am

    I suggest trying Sibelius symphony number two when you run. Plan for a long epic run.

    • June 8, 2011 12:28 pm

      Hi Joe. Just the words “epic run” sound good to me. Will download! Thanks 🙂

  47. June 2, 2011 3:45 am

    Wow, another post featuring an image of the Wonder Twins—I think I started that trend!

    Great post, I may have to head over to Amazon MP3 for some new downloads!

  48. June 2, 2011 4:08 am

    I often listen to my “Ambient Electronica” genre station on Pandora Internet Radio. It play’s a lot of Brian Eno, and the music just kind of fades into the background, helping to block out distracting sounds.

  49. jonoxtoby permalink
    June 2, 2011 4:12 am

    I’m a computer programmer and spend most of my time knee-deep in logic and code so lyrics can often be a distraction for me just as they are for you when writing, but I’m not a massive classical music fan. I found that movie scores and other tunes from composers such as Hans Zimmer really get me in the zone. I also love Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell – incredibly powerful (some say “epic”) and really ignites the fire within.

  50. June 2, 2011 4:24 am

    All I know is that good music makes me happy, and when I’m feeling happy, I do good work.

    I love music….. 🙂 it is a importan part in my life..

  51. aerialmeds permalink
    June 2, 2011 4:45 am

    Music for Airports!

  52. June 2, 2011 7:20 am

    music is always relaxing. Strange but i feel relaxed when i listen to rock or fast music.

  53. June 2, 2011 9:25 am

    Thanks for sharing this Hana. I’ll be listening to each one of them! For me music comes in when everything else goes out. A soul-savior!

  54. June 2, 2011 10:11 am

    Thanks for this. I’m a fan of Bach’s myself.

  55. wenkestenkelenke permalink
    June 2, 2011 10:19 am

    I love this blogpost!! I´m living it myself, on a daily basis, and have blogged about it, too, though in Norwegian 😉 The music that releases my creativity and productivity, is primarely movie soundtracks. Soundtracks from Inception, Invictus, Narnia, Lord of the rings, Pirates of the Caribeean, just to mention SOME of my favorites 🙂 I´m also “distracted” by lyrics, so I prefer instrumental music for this use.

    • June 2, 2011 5:54 pm

      Hi, yes, movie soundtracks are definitely good for me, I’ve seen the movies, but haven’t actually listened to any of the soundtracks you mentioned — thank you for sharing!

  56. June 2, 2011 11:28 am

    Great List. I agree with Brian Eno and there are a few other ambient records that he put out like Ambient #4: On Land also trippy, but soothingly so. I like to work with Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, Miles Davis In a Silent Way, Shostakovich Symphony #5 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto #25 performed by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Eno’s Music for Airports made my top 20 list of all time favorite albums. Check out the list with a little review of each if you have time: http://tinyurl.com/432teag

    Cheers!

    • June 2, 2011 6:02 pm

      Hi Ribbie, I did check out your music list , thank you! I can’t get over the response to this post, I have so much listening to do…..

  57. www.VirtualAssistant.Org permalink
    June 2, 2011 11:33 am

    Is your roommate best at solving math problems while listening to Dvořák concertos? If yes, really a musical genius. Thanks for the good tunes.

    At work, we also listen to music while doing some planning or doing technical tasks. For some people here, it works to boost productivity but not all.

    Also recommending Paganini Caprice No. 24 too… works for me. More than 60 beats/minute though.

  58. June 2, 2011 12:33 pm

    As many have said over the ages, music is a universal language_ it can speak to one’s body, mind and soul. Hana, I checked out “Living Message”, the jazz piece and “Airport music”. I really impressed with the Jazz piece. It had a warm and hearty rhythm coupled with a soft tickling of the piano keys. I found myself gently swaying with the melody and repetitive beat. (thumps up) And congrats on being “freshly pressed”. 🙂

  59. June 2, 2011 12:52 pm

    I listen to music all the time wherever I am 🙂
    different iTunes playlists for different things and they are changing!
    Right now I listen to Pyotr Tchaikovsky Swan Theme (Swan Lake) in a row.

    oh and btw. I really like your blog and the way you’re writing. 🙂

  60. June 2, 2011 1:16 pm

    Has anyone mentioned Sigur Ros yet? Maybe some stuff by Animal Collective as well…good background music.

  61. The Sherpa Guide permalink
    June 2, 2011 1:22 pm

    Interesting blog! I also want to bring up using music as retrieval cues, the “Encoding Specificity Principle.” Look that up. It probably has a correlation with her good grades too. Have a nice day. 🙂

  62. June 2, 2011 1:25 pm

    🙂

  63. June 2, 2011 1:50 pm

    Interesting, lovely and useful. Thanks for sharing!

  64. Klavs permalink
    June 2, 2011 2:13 pm

    I can contribute something to this list too. I mainly listen to peaceful and rhytmical instrumental songs from these artists:
    Instrumental, ambient, electronic, trip-hop – Nujabes, Bonobo, Baths, Blockhead, Mum
    Instrumental, hip-hop, beat – Damu the Fudgemunk, DJ Shadow
    Instrumental rock – Mogwai, Jacob

    Peace!

  65. June 2, 2011 8:19 pm

    Truth be told, I am unable to multitask with music. The music simply becomes a terrible distraction. I require absolute silence in order to read student papers or write essays or do anything of consequence.

    Now if I’m doing laundry, that is another thing. 😉

    Congratulations on being squished flat! Come visit me at “Lessons From Teachers and Twits,” if you are so inclined!

  66. Samson J. Loo permalink
    June 3, 2011 2:34 am

    Love this post… piano puts me in a zone but I have a limited selection. I would love to review your playlist if you would be willing to share it. Of course just a text based list.

  67. June 3, 2011 2:37 am

    Thank you for sharing content to read.

  68. June 3, 2011 7:46 am

    Thanks for sharing this; I can really relate.
    My favourite songs are usually that of an upbeat, catchy nature (The sort where you really have to devote all your attention to listening) but I surprised myself recently by listening to Hoppipolla, by Sigur Rós. It’s amazing how much work I can get done with this playing softly in the background.
    Real inspirator.

  69. Lems permalink
    June 3, 2011 10:22 pm

    you HAVE to download Elijahbossen Broek. . . . *BEST MUSIC* in the WORLD to get you “in the zone” ❤ him…..x

  70. Max Miller permalink
    June 6, 2011 1:51 am

    Whenever I need to focus, I usually listen to Dream Theater.
    Some of their great songs are:

    1. Erotomania – Awake album
    2. Learning to Live – Images and Words album
    3. Overture 1928 – Scenes From A Memory album
    4. About to Crash / Reprise – Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

  71. June 7, 2011 9:10 am

    I cannot listen to pop music and the like whilst working- my mind starts to wander too much..lol.. but find that piano music works very well for concentration. I have a whole CD of piano concertos that I put on… it really helps- especially whilst writing fiction!

  72. June 7, 2011 3:53 pm

    Love the track suggestions, especially the Anouar Brahem track, reminds me a little bit of Arvo Part’s ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’. Suppose the music choice depends on what type of work you’re doing, I used to work on a production line before I became a student so something with steady beat was always good. Back then it probably would have been Underworld or the chemical brothers, now I would probably opt for Steve Martland or Philip Glass.
    Great post by the way, I only just started my own blog a couple of weeks ago and was looking here for some inspiration.

  73. June 8, 2011 10:49 am

    Your right! Eno has a miraculous ability of making you think you are not listening to music. So unconscious its almost scary!!

  74. June 21, 2011 1:42 am

    I loved your post–it’s fascinating about the tempo matching our resting heart beat. I listen to all sort of music when I work, but I particularly like pianists Helen Jane Long (listen to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns3fmaSYAVw) and Ludovico Einaudi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTkzyyv0DuA) The ‘driven’ piano melodies keep me on track.

    Music I can’t listen to when I work is soul–it’s so good I wanna dance instead of work!

  75. June 22, 2011 12:04 pm

    Classic tunes are very handy indeed. Blasting these arias make one feel as if they are a interleukin from the renascence era theorizing a new method of making hats.

  76. June 24, 2011 10:33 pm

    When I write I usually listen to soundtrack music. I have a modest but growing collection. By the very nature of a soundtrack, it’s meant to be more heard than listened to. Therefore it’s not distracting, and serves as a neutral background to your work. Naturally though, some soundtracks are simply too good to be heard, and to cause disruptions. I can’t have anything by Ennio Morricone playing and simply ignore it. That would be madness. The dynamics of the epic brass scattered throughout the Dollars Trilogy soundtrack stirs up too much emotion to allow anyone to continue working. I do favour some of Hans Zimmer’s stuff, as well as Jerry Goldsmith.

    Mac.

  77. Eduardo di Castro permalink
    July 5, 2011 7:17 pm

    Telepopmusik it’s a great option too.

  78. September 3, 2011 10:28 am

    Hi
    Thank you for introducing me to Ino Hidefumi ! Loved it because I tried to work while listening and it did help get into the Focus zone rather than distract .
    May also share a favorite to w/ l to is Sam Yahel .

    Namaste
    D

  79. August 6, 2013 12:15 pm

    Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this
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