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Best music to listen while programming?

pawan chopra
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Joined: Jan 23, 2008
Posts: 413

I generally listen to songs in my native language (Punjabi). What kind of music generally is good while programming so that you can concentrate on work as well?


Pawan Chopra
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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61658
    
  67

Anime soundtracks.

Yes, really. There's some great music there that few people ever hear.


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Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18909
    
    8

I can't listen to any music while programming, I find it too distracting.
Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10523
    
    9

Pink Floyd.


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chris webster
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Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1851
    
  16

I usually prefer instrumental or choral music, as I find it less distracting. Right now, I'm really enjoying wonderful music by kora master Toumani Diabate and his son son Sidikii, from Mali:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/may/22/toumani-diabate-sidiki-kora-music-industry-family

I was lucky enough to see them in concert a couple of weeks ago, and their new album is excellent music for listening to while programming. I think you can listen to parts of their album at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Toumani-Sidiki-Diabat%C3%A9/dp/B00JLJ8EV8/


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fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11480
    
  16

Pandora

I have several stations built, and usually put them on a shuffle, turning different ones on or off depending on my mood. I have stations focuses on 80's, Prog rock, Broadway tunes, swing music, instrumental/modern classical, new wave, alternative rock, and pop tunes.


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Dieter Quickfend
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Joined: Aug 06, 2010
Posts: 543
    
    4

Me, I use 8tracks. I can't log into anything at work (no https allowed, go figure) and I just put on a mix of what I feel like at a certain time.


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J. Kevin Robbins
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Joined: Dec 16, 2010
Posts: 1043
    
  13

Pink Floyd or Beethoven. How's that for an odd mix? Sometimes soft jazz. I use Pandora and the Billie Holiday station is one of my favorites. It's a good mix of background-music-to-work-by.


"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." -- Ted Nelson
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11480
    
  16

There was a story on NPR a few weeks ago about music, and how 'familiar' it is...

So they had a computer generate two kinds of music. One set of tunes has repeated musical phrases...So as you listen to the music, you realize part of the tune is familair. Another set of tunes explicitly never repeated a phrase. the first set of tunes was found to be much better. In fact, people tended to think the first set was NOT likely to be computer generated.

The same held true for music written by humans. There was (is?) a movement by some composers to never repeat a musical phrase in a song. These tunes were judged by people to be MORE likely written by a computer.


But the larger point is that when you hear a song you are familiar with, your brain quite literally stops paying as much attention to it. You don't listen to the lyrics any more, so your brain is free to hear some of the deeper, subtler things going on.

I wonder if the same applies to writing code. Regardless of what the tunes are, if your brain is familiar with them, you don't have to pay as much attention, so your brain can focus on the real task of coding. In my case, since I use full enclosure headphones, all the conversations around me get blocked out, letting me be more productive.
 
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