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Music that helps you write/concentrate
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Goldmund Offline
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Post: #1
Music that helps you write/concentrate
When I need to sit down and write, I enjoy the ritual as much as the process itself. Comfortable clothes, pot of green tea, mapacho, and some music…

I have had the same playlist for quite sometime: it includes bands such as Mogwai, Explosions in the sky, Do Make Say Think, Dirty Three, Air, Boards of Canada, Nicolas Jarr…

Mostly bands that don’t use or have very minimal vocals, are technically proficient but not annoyingly so, and are overall aides in concentration (listening to Explosions in the Sky makes everything you are doing seem fucking epic).

Any suggestions for other music that helps your mind focus? Classical composers welcome as well.
(This post was last modified: 03-06-2014 06:07 PM by Goldmund.)
03-06-2014 06:05 PM
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Parlay44 Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
Music puts you in a different mind space. If listening to music makes you happy then it makes whatever you're doing less torturous and more fun. That's why I hate the corporate world. 8 hours in a cubicle dealing with bullshit in dead silence.

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03-06-2014 06:12 PM
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Goldmund Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
(03-06-2014 06:12 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  Music puts you in a different mind space.

Exactly. So I'm looking for music that puts you in a place of high mental clarity.
03-06-2014 06:22 PM
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anonchalantguy Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
when I'm studying I like calm music with minimal vocals too, some of my favourites from my revision playlists are, The xx, Bonobo, caveman, flying lotus...
But my ultimate fav is a chillwave/chillstep mix by Fluidified called 'Ethereal Dreams'. I put it on for about an hour and let my mind flow, I HIGHly recommend it aha.


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03-06-2014 06:35 PM
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Baldwin81 Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
Agreed that, in general, less vocals = better for writing music.

In addition to helping block the outside world and getting a good creative state, many of these files run about an hour or more in length - so there's no fussing with new selections to break concentration.

To that end, I really dig House music - specifically Rony Seikaly's Sugar Free Radio (hat-tip, Danger and Play).

https://soundcloud.com/ronyseikaly

He seems to have stopped updating the above, but this has a lot of good, downloadable mixes.

It appears that his newer Sugar Free radio mixes are available at the iTunes store.

I have it on my iPod, but I can't seem to find a good link for Sharam's BBC Radio One Essential Mix from 2006. There are some back channel ways to get it but I'm not sure about the quality or authenticity. Sharam's 06 essential mix was/is two hours of writing inspiration and worth checking out.

For classical, I'm partial to Beethoven Symphony #9:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCqOHFvO3po

Mozart's Requiem in D minor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPlhKP0nZII

I stay away from Bach while writing because I find his music too moving.

After trial and error, I've found that you can listen to lyric-heavy music so long as it's music you've listened to many times. So Led Zep (specifically II and IV), Exile on Main St. (or a home-made playlist) by The Stones, and Stadium Arcadium by the Chili Peppers all work well for me. Of course, this varies based on the individual.
(This post was last modified: 03-06-2014 06:41 PM by Baldwin81.)
03-06-2014 06:37 PM
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Isaac Jordan Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
If you like Explosions in the Sky you'll probably enjoy Pelican. They're a bit heavier, but similar, all instrumental. My favorite album of theirs is The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw. One of the few albums I can consistently listen to all the way through.
03-06-2014 07:16 PM
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Rutting Elephant Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
The Segovia Collection, five albums worth of old classical guitar recordings. Had that on shuffle all through college.
03-06-2014 08:52 PM
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devilution Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
I've heard music that promote Alpha waves in the brain help with learning and concentration.
I personally use Canon D
03-06-2014 09:01 PM
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birdie num num Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
Great topic. I was going to start a thread about music and sounds that help one concentrate. Bach's Goldberg Variations on Harpsichord put me into a state of deep concentration, or flow.

There's a wide range of sounds on YouTube. I've been trying out sounds such as celestial white noise, flowing streams and rain falling on a roof. The loud neighbors and barking dog fade away and I can focus on a project.

This dude has a whole channel full of brain enhancing sounds. Check 'em out: http://www.youtube.com/user/MindAmend?feature=watch

“When you're born into this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you get a front row seat.”

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(This post was last modified: 03-06-2014 10:05 PM by birdie num num.)
03-06-2014 10:02 PM
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Player_1337 Online
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
(03-06-2014 06:12 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  Music puts you in a different mind space. If listening to music makes you happy then it makes whatever you're doing less torturous and more fun. That's why I hate the corporate world. 8 hours in a cubicle dealing with bullshit in dead silence.

That's why I use my headphones on the job (it's permissible where I work). It's the only way I can get through the day and remain focused.

ABC
03-06-2014 10:08 PM
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runsonmagic Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
Terrible pop music on loop. Not joking.

(I think Ryan Holiday has an article about doing the same thing somewhere. Can't find it now.)

Read my work on Return of Kings here.
03-06-2014 10:36 PM
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birdie num num Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
(03-06-2014 10:36 PM)runsonmagic Wrote:  Terrible pop music on loop. Not joking.

(I think Ryan Holiday has an article about doing the same thing somewhere. Can't find it now.)

The problem is that you can't get the fucking awful lyrics out of your head for the next day or two!

“When you're born into this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you get a front row seat.”

- George Carlin
03-06-2014 10:40 PM
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ElBorrachoInfamoso Away
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
Classical music is best for me when I'm writing.

Hip hop is best when I'm doing something quantitative. e.g. Immortal Technique, Wu Tang, Dead Prez

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03-07-2014 07:35 AM
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amity Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
I've been listening to Jon Hopkin's 'Collider'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XtqUOegCv8&feature=kp
03-07-2014 10:07 AM
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berserk Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
I don't listen to music while I work, but I do listen to Rammstein when I lift weights. It is really amazing how aggressive I get and how I can use that to give an extra effort.
03-07-2014 10:41 AM
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General Mayhem Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
I get a lot done while my roommates play house music, but that's in spite of the music.
03-07-2014 11:00 AM
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speakeasy Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
I can't have music of any sort on if I'm trying to focus because I'm HIGHLY distractable and ADDish. If I have music on, I will lose focus and start concentrating on the music. Doesn't matter what type of music it is. And all music is interesting to me on some level. Boards of Canada was mentioned in the OP post. Like I can't have that on while trying to concentrate because I'll hear some loop that's dope and I'll want to hear it again and hit rewind and before I know it I'm paying more attention to the music then whatever it is I'm trying to do. If I need to get shit down I have to turn off EVERYTHING.

Also kind of depends what I'm doing. If it's something cognitively rigorous like learning programming that takes all my brainpower, I can't have anything on. But if I'm doing something that isn't too focus-intensive like painting, then I'll put something on.
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2014 12:07 PM by speakeasy.)
03-07-2014 12:05 PM
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LeonsGreenWifeBeater Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
(03-06-2014 10:36 PM)runsonmagic Wrote:  Terrible pop music on loop. Not joking.

(I think Ryan Holiday has an article about doing the same thing somewhere. Can't find it now.)

Ryan Holiday Pop Music

Gonna try today. That dude gets a lot of stuff done.
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2014 04:19 PM by LeonsGreenWifeBeater.)
03-07-2014 04:19 PM
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ddjembe mutombo Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
I can't have any music in the background when I'm trying to concentrate. I'm too much of a musician to just let it flow in one ear and out the other. Then again, I'm one of those weird people that will sit and listen to an entire record in the same fashion as someone would watch a movie.

However, Owen (Mike Kinsella) has some pretty peaceful jams.
03-07-2014 06:25 PM
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Remington Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Handel...those put me in the zone if I need to get work done.

Reporter: What keeps you awake at night?
General James "Mad Dog" Mattis: Nothing, I keep other people awake at night.

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03-07-2014 06:31 PM
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assman Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
(03-07-2014 06:31 PM)Remington Wrote:  Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Handel...those put me in the zone if I need to get work done.
Classical music for me as well.

This youtube channel has a number of 'best of xyz composer' soundtracks, each of which is 1.5-2hrs, so you can just click play and not have to mess with it frequently.



03-08-2014 03:29 PM
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anonymous123 Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
Bach - Brandenburg concertos
Vivaldi - Four Seasons
Beethoven's fifth

All of these will get you some mileage (reasonably long, as opposed to listening to Canon in D or Moolight Sonata on repeat)

Try Strauss, Tchaikovsky as well. Check out Waggoner (you can even workout to Ride of the Valkyries)

And, don't pass up John Williams. Although mostly soundtracks, probably best composer of modern times.
03-08-2014 08:33 PM
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Sombro Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
Any classical or NPR (when it's just music).

Even some of the more mellow Cocteau Twins stuff.

Brian Eno's Ambient albums are pretty chill.



03-08-2014 09:30 PM
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magellan Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
Music kills my concentration. Silence lets my mind wander too much.

This is my perfect background noise when trying to read or write: http://coffitivity.com
03-09-2014 03:00 AM
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Enigma Offline
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RE: Music that helps you write/concentrate
I was recently recommended the site: http://www.focusatwill.com

I've only done the 60 minute free trial so far but it's a collection of radio stations (classical, acoustic, baroque piano, alpha chill, ambient, cinematic, and a few others) with music supposedly chosen by neuroscientists to engage the brain in a way that helps with concentration.

I'm not sure how legit the science behind it is but the music I heard during the trial was actually pretty good. It's only $5 a month for unlimited listening and you can play with different settings once you're a paid member, like adjusting the "energy level" of the station.
(This post was last modified: 03-09-2014 01:33 PM by Enigma.)
03-09-2014 01:32 PM
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