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Music to code by...

David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

...so Marilyn Manson just started on my headphones.
Possible not everyone's choice of music to work to, but it did occur to me that I find it difficult to program without music.
I can't write a technical doc with headphones on, but I find it difficult to do a full day of coding without music of some sort and was wondering if others were the same or had similar hang-ups. (cos if one thing is certain, its that programmers are a strange breed )
Might also be related to this.
Dave.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Ha! I used to like it too and never understood why. Then I read somewhere that psychologists made an experiment on programmers: they gave the same assignment to two groups of ra... I mean coders. One group worked under music intoxication, another stayed healty Results were basically the same with one significant difference. An assignment was designed so that there was a way to simplify it, if you see "the whole picture" - what's going on and what essentially you are asked to do. Those coders that listened to the music missed this possible "optimization". (I restate how I remember it, so I may distort something, but I believe I expressed the basic idea correctly).
So music kills meta-thinking abilities, and maybe that's why it looks like it's easier to program when you listen to it - it clears more room for mechanical thinking. Since then I avoid music unless I am sure my job is purely mechanical.


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Interesting...
my argument is related to the left-side/right-side of the brain also:
I had a friend who was working for a company where they discouraged listening to music during work. My (unresearched and no scientific basis) argument is that programming should be a 'left brain' activity and music appreciation 'right brained'. Listening to music while programming uses both sides and should promote them working together (I think I remember studies related to stuff like this) _If_ we can accept this, then music while programming should be beneficial. This is the argument I passed on.
If your article is correct, it may actually be that I can listen to music because programming uses mostly the left side, but makes it unavailable for right-brain activities like pattern matching....
Something I need to ponder.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
I like listening to music when programming,but it will give me a bad effect sometimes.I think maybe my mood isn't good when it happens.But I like music commontly.I used to like it and will like in future it.and YOU?
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Dave Vick
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Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Those coders that listened to the music missed this possible "optimization".

Or they were paid by the line
Actually I like to listen to music while I work. I just figured out that you can load alot of CDs into the hard drive and have the player randomly play songs - the other guys in my cubicle really appreciate that as I used to put in cd in the morning and let it play over and over and over all day because I woud forget about it.
Types of music, hmm lets see: The Best of Kansas , Genesis Trick of the Tail, Genesis Turn it on Again (a greatest hits collection), Abba greatest hits (yes I said Abba), The Best of the Moody Blues, Kashmir (Symphonic Led Zeppelin), Styx Greatest Hits. got a bunch more at home I haven't brought to work yet too.
Have I just dated myself?
Dave


Dave
Rosie Vogel
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Joined: Jan 31, 2001
Posts: 228
I've worked in rooms where my co-workers had turned a radio on and it drove me insane. I just couldn't concentrate because I tend to consciously listen to EVERYTHING on the radio, including the most stupid commercial, the silliest song lyrics and the babbling of the most boring dj.
But so far, I seem to be alone in this. I have noticed that when I hear something really funny on the radio, and try to talk about it to my colleagues, they're like: "huh, what?". Somehow, they're able to block it out.
Is there a way to become good at multitasking?
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Earplugs.


"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Actually, where I work the rule of thumb is - if you can hear it in the next cube, it is too loud. Therefore some folks wear headphones.
Rosie Vogel
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Joined: Jan 31, 2001
Posts: 228
Cubes! How I WISH we had those! But in Europe, they stick ten people together in a room, like gorillas in a zoo. There may be some company that has cubicles but I have never seen them, except in Dilbert comics.
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
I often code while listening to music. Most jobs, I'm in a cube farm of some sort, and I think it's rude to inflict my musical choices on others (plus it's usually disallowed anyway) so I use headphones. I try to make sure the volume is low enough that others can get my attention without having to throw things at me. Usually I succeed.
I haven't noticed any debilitating effects of music on my coding abilities - but I suppose that the fact that I don't notice it might simply be evidence of my diminished capacities. I still think it has a net positive effect for me, mostly for the morale boost. I mostly listen later in the day/evening, as my mind would start wandering anyway, and it helps alleviate boredom.
Dave Vick - well, you lose a point for mentioning "Turn It On Again" rather than a Gabriel-era album, but you make up for it with "A Trick of the Tail" and "Kashmir". No penalty for ABBA though - they can be fun. I listen to a lot of progressive rock, and an assortment of other things. At work I tend more towards traditional rock, while at home I might throw on a movie soundtrack, opera, or some sort of world music.


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Selected artists & tunage (part I) I spin when I codify. These organized by my own mood range and the project's current angle of repose:
Ry Cooder - Paradise & Lunch
Leon Redbone - Double Time
Bonnie Raitt - Luck of the Draw
Shawn Colvin - A Few Small Repairs
Paul Simon - Graceland, Rhythm of the Saints
Don Henley - End of the Innocence, Building the Perfect Beast
Eagles - Hotel California (side 2!)
Mamas & Papas - If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears
Police - Ghost in the Machine
Rush - Grace Under Pressure, Moving Pictures, Exit Stage Left
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
10,000 Maniacs - In My Tribe
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms
Al Jarreau - Breakin' Away
George Winston - George Winston
Stevie Wonder - Original Musiquarium
Manhattan Transfer - Extensions, Mecca for Moderns, Brasil
Mel Torme - pick
Pretenders - Learning to Crawl
Squeeze - Singles
Joan Armatrading - Track Record
Van Halen - Van Halen II
B-52's - Cosmic Thing
Sublime - Sublime
Yes - 90125, Big Generator
Billy Squier - Don't Say No
Billy Idol - Billy Idol
Nirvana - Nevermind


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
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Nanhesru Ningyake
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Joined: Nov 29, 2000
Posts: 452
I listen to music at work only when whatever I'm doing doesn't need complete focus. And there's just one composer whose works I listen to consistently: W.A. Mozart. If ever I feel like listening to something different, I play some J.S. Bach

Pourquoi voulez-vous mon nom?
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
NOW I am listening to music.I am in the cube lonely sometimes.Maybe let me listening to music so as to make me feel morale boost .I like all sorts of music including dj ,traditional rock ,opera,and so so.Specially when I have no good mood ,I think songs could give me courage of life.
I come from ORIENT ,and I have own manner involving EVERYTHING.
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--------------------------SCJP--------------------------------
----------------I like JAVA and JAVA like me--------------
Joe McGuire
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Joined: Mar 19, 2001
Posts: 293
It's been proven that listening to W.A. Mozart actually makes you smarter. It's called the Mozart Effect. As for me, I code to mind-numbing techno.
Nanhesru Ningyake
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Joined: Nov 29, 2000
Posts: 452
I don't know about becoming smarter; but I listen to Mozart for just one thing: the feelings of happiness/ higher pleasure it induces in me.
I do have Don Campbell's book and some of his CDs. He isn't much of a writer; but still reading that book feels good. If someone is looking for a pure kick out of some really vigorous classical music, try this CD: Tune Your Brain with Mozart: Energize. It's pace and energy is simply awesome.
>As for me, I code to mind-numbing techno
Ah, I bought the Run Lola Run movie soundtrack after I saw the movie - the music is indeed, like you say, mind-numbing!

[This message has been edited by Nanhesru Ningyake (edited October 19, 2001).]
Jane Griscti
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Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141

I try to make sure the volume is low enough...


But how can you listen to music that's barely audible?? Doesn't that drive you nuts??


Jane Griscti
SCJP, Co-author Mike Meyers' Java 2 Certification Passport
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Perhaps if we return the quote to its context...
Most jobs, I'm in a cube farm of some sort, and I think it's rude to inflict my musical choices on others (plus it's usually disallowed anyway) so I use headphones. I try to make sure the volume is low enough that others can get my attention without having to throw things at me.

Certainly, it's loud enough for me to hear easily - I just don't want it so loud that I can't hear anything else around me.
I love Mozart too - but most of the claims for "The Mozart Effect" are far from proven. It's probably best not to put too much faith in a site that feels the need to put a ® next to every single occurrence of "The Mozart Effect" - that's a clue that the source may have an ulterior motive. Plus the site smells distinctly of newage, to me at least.
Nanhesru Ningyake
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Joined: Nov 29, 2000
Posts: 452
>but most of the claims for "The Mozart Effect" are far from proven
Don Campbell is a dumb, but driven salesman, who's discovered this way to make some quick money... he's succeeding not because he is good; but his product is. In fact, reading his book makes you think he's a first-class quack!
Talking about the product he's peddling - now this is truly from a genius. Mozart's music has such sublime beauty... listening to it occasionally induces thoughts and emotions about something higher, pure and divine out there. It is such thoughts, ideas which result in an expansion of the mind, especially the creative side. This perhaps helps in problem-solving, which sometimes is measurable as an "improvement" in intelligence.
It's not just Mozart's instrumental pieces - his operas are great too. Some of the songs are so evocative, like the love song Voi che sapete in Le Nozze de Figaro... makes me wish, if ever I should suffer, let me suffer from the pangs of love


[This message has been edited by Nanhesru Ningyake (edited October 21, 2001).]
Joe McGuire
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I love Mozart too - but most of the claims for "The Mozart Effect" are far from proven. It's probably best not to put too much faith in a site that feels the need to put a � next to every single occurrence of "The Mozart Effect" - that's a clue that the source may have an ulterior motive. Plus the site smells distinctly of newage, to me at least.

Aw, now you ruined it for me!
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Well, that was my goal, after all. But Mozart will still be great long after Don Campbell is forgotten, so it's not a total loss.
Just came back from 5 hours at the San Francisco Opera listening to Die Meistersinger von N�rnberg - wonderful stuff. My first live Wagner - I'm not sure if I'd have the patience for some of the others, but this one's worth it. Probably not very good coding music though.

[This message has been edited by Jim Yingst (edited October 23, 2001).]
Joe McGuire
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Posts: 293
I believe Der Ring des Nibelungen, in its entirety, is over 14 hours! That's a lot for any ear. I prefer his Der Fliegende Hollander, as performed in the movie "Cabin Boy."
Nanhesru Ningyake
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Posts: 452
>I believe Der Ring des Nibelungen, in its entirety, is over 14 hours!
That's when the concept of a series was invented. I can imagine the opera's announcer saying, "To find out what happens when the Count meets the lovely Lucia, don't miss the next episode, same time, same place, next week!"
Jim Yingst
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Posts: 18671
I'm pretty sure there's no "Lucia" anywhere in the Ring. I do in fact have 14.5 hours worth of the Ring on CD - but don't usually try to listen to the whole thing at once. Being able to hit pause and move around makes a big difference.
Although, last New Year's Eve I was busy packing up the last of my things in Phoenix to move them out to the bay area, and I went through the whole Ring while packing. And though I never consciously planned it, I managed to time the whole thing so that the big finale with the destruction of Walhalla coincided with the new year. Since at this point I had packed up everything important and was just dealing with cleaning up all the little things (lots and lots of little things), I was sorely tempted to take inspiration from the opera and start a huge bonfire in the backyard to get rid of the remainder. Alas, I wimped out and finished packing instead. Still, it was a nice thought.
[This message has been edited by Jim Yingst (edited October 24, 2001).]
Nanhesru Ningyake
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>I'm pretty sure there's no "Lucia" anywhere in the Ring
Just replace Lucia with any other dainty damsel's name
I've never been to live opera - have been to the Chicago Symphony Center several times - but all of those were Mozart/Bach concerts Should check out the Boston Symphony now... it looks very grand in pictures. I loved the concert hall in Chicago - my first visit there, my seat was in the 6th floor gallery - and the view from up there was spectacular - it's such a beautiful place.
Jim Yingst
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Errr... actually, you'll also have a hard time finding any "dainty damsels" in the Ring. A Valkyie would probably take your head off if you addressed her as such.
Randall Twede
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    2

i didnt read the other replies but i think music would actually distract me. but then again i dont do it for a living yet


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Nanhesru Ningyake
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>you'll also have a hard time finding any "dainty damsels" in the Ring
A 14-hour opera with no chicks in it?! Sounds boring
Joe McGuire
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Posts: 293
A 14-hour opera with no chicks in it?! Sounds boring

Oh, there's chicks in it alright. They're just the big, horned-helmet, demi-goddess kinda chicks that'll kick yer but six ways til Sunday!
Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit, with my speaw and magic helmet!
[This message has been edited by Joe McGuire (edited October 25, 2001).]
Jim Yingst
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I suppose the Rhinebabes... err, Rhinemaidens, would count as "dainty damsels". Their names are Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Flosshilde. The main reason I laughed at the idea of "Lucia" is that it's clearly Italian in origin, and everyone in the Ring is pretty Germanic. (Ummm, agressively Germanic.) Which admittedly may be less obvious to folks from non-European backgrounds. Just remember that any name with a "W" in it should be pronounced as if it were "V", and you'll get the idea.
Nanhesru Ningyake
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>They're just the big, horned-helmet, demi-goddess kinda chicks
Sorry, I am not into this Domination thing - but still am curious - do they always gag you when they tie you up?
>Their names are Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Flosshilde
I think the Italians are better lovers simply because the girls have better sounding names. I mean, what self-respecting German guy, when asked what's his girlfriend's name, can lovingly say "Wellgunde"? Whereas the Italian guy would happily say "Lucia", and it would instantly conjure an image of a cheerful lass with a hearty laughter, whose ample bosoms bulge out of her low-cut frilly top, with a tight corset, and a billowing skirt.
Whereas "Wellgunde" forms the image of a dumb toothy wild-haired uncouth slatternly woman. That should explain why Germany produced so many moody philosophers
Joe McGuire
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Posts: 293
Ah yes, Juno Reactor , Future Sound of London, Underworld - regulars on my daily playlist - I'll add to that DJ Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, DJ Orkidea, Speedy J, Tipsy (to name but a few).
    Well I've never fished here, but i've caught beaucoup fish in Reverend Burton..
    -Underworld

Joe McGuire
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Boston�s signature night featuring World Class DJs such as Paul Oakenfold and Armand Van Helden www.avalonboston.com

Sweet. I'm gonna make it to the Sasha-Digweed show!
George Brown
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Posts: 919
Brahms symphonies, most Beethoven, Rachmaninov works for me.
Jake the Snake
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Originally posted by Joe McGuire:
Ah yes, Juno Reactor , Future Sound of London, Underworld - regulars on my daily playlist - I'll add to that DJ Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, DJ Orkidea, Speedy J, Tipsy (to name but a few).
    Well I've never fished here, but i've caught beaucoup fish in Reverend Burton..
    -Underworld

I can't believe that there are trance lovers here on JavaRanch!
If You ask me, it is the most beautiful music out there. The problem is that mainstream public looks at 'trance' as synonym for drugs which is not always the case. I cherish the day I was brought into that whole scene.
I'd say to that Oakenfold was the godfather of this kind of music. Sasha and Digweed are right there too.
Don't forget Tiesto, Carl Cox, few others...
Lately, I have been listening to lot of Armin Van Buuren, Timo Maas mixes.
Have had a privilege to see/hear Oakenfold, Tiesto, Kimball Collins, ATB, Max Graham and a lot of other less known djs live.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Music to code by...