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"Very few drums or vocals"
April 26, 2012 9:03 AM   Subscribe

musicForProgramming(); a series of mixes intended for listening to while programming to aid concentration and increase productivity (also compatible with other activities).

From the site:
Music possessing these qualities [listed in the tags] 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.

More detail from the Aesthetic page.

So far there are seven episodes. Each episode is a single .mp3 track compiled by a electronic/ambient musician (links to each musicians' website on the respective episode page):

01: Datassette*
02: Sunjammer
03: Datassette
04: Com Truise (previously on the blue)
05: Abe Mangger
06: Gods Of The New Age
07: Tahlhoff Garten + Untitled

*Datassette (aka John Davies of videogame musicmakers PixelJam, games featuring their music here, posted many times on the blue but most recently here) is the primary force behind the site. His website also has a mix section. The aesthetic doesn't have the same productivity intent but the mixes are quite interesting nonetheless (especially the "business funk" mixes, here's the first one).
posted by Doleful Creature (35 comments total) 142 users marked this as a favorite

 
works for me.
posted by philip-random at 9:13 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


That font and those colors are not aiding my concentration.
posted by MsVader at 9:17 AM on April 26, 2012


seems to be working so far, thanks
posted by DU at 9:19 AM on April 26, 2012


You can also subscribe to all the episodes as a podcast in iTunes, if the site colors are bothering you (I agree it is a tad eye-watering).
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:21 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Very cool, thanks. I listen to a lot of this type of music when I'm working, so something new is always welcome.
posted by ralan at 9:49 AM on April 26, 2012


Listening to it now (while programming!). Reminds me a lot of Sofaspace, which is kind of an even more chilled out ambient Groove Salad.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:55 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


and a previous Ask about music for programming with loads more links
posted by Z303 at 9:57 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nice, thanks for posting!
posted by carter at 10:03 AM on April 26, 2012


I shall use this to block out the sound of my coworkers chewing!
posted by nowoutside at 10:04 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


SET CREEPY_FACTOR = 10
posted by blue_beetle at 10:11 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I prefer contemporary/classical or progressive house and trance to more ambient or baroque songs for math or programming work, myself. trance
posted by Algebra at 10:15 AM on April 26, 2012


I made a Pandora station for exactly this purpose. I've been working on it for nearly five years and it has over 100 seed bands. It's remarkably consistent.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:26 AM on April 26, 2012 [20 favorites]


Afroblanco,

I've fired up your Pandora station. Thanks for sharing your work. I'm looking forward to exploring the individual artists who comprise it as well.
posted by the sobsister at 10:35 AM on April 26, 2012


Thanks also to Doleful Creature for the original posting. I've bookmarked the site for work.
posted by the sobsister at 10:38 AM on April 26, 2012


I get off at 9th floor.
posted by mule98J at 10:41 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nice, Afroblanco! And here's another AskMe thread with a similar vibe. Also if you're digging the electronic-ambient vibe check out the ISO50 blog.

On the less electronic side of things, I get a lot of mileage out of Philip Glass (the soundtrack for Mishima being one of my favorites)

Here's a 2005 article on redhat.com with some good artists too.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:52 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


On a more skeptical note, is the goal of music to "aid concentration and increase productivity", or should it be?
posted by faustdick at 10:52 AM on April 26, 2012


I pretty much love all symphonic rock, shoegaze and downtempo : all genres I discovered looking for the perfect work music. Amazing how my profession has influenced my taste.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:09 AM on April 26, 2012


is the goal of music to "aid concentration and increase productivity", or should it be?

That's the goal of this music, for these people. Nobody's talking about The Goal Of Music here.
posted by echo target at 11:16 AM on April 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


My kind of music! :)

If you guys like this and aren't familiar with a lot of stuff like it, here's a couple tracks I like that's in this vein (Youtube links):

Kettel - Kroost Kids
Wisp - Negions Fail
posted by symbioid at 11:23 AM on April 26, 2012


Reminds me a lot of Sofaspace, which is kind of an even more chilled out ambient Groove Salad.

Groove Salad! Man, I haven't listened to that in about ten years. Never thought it would still be around now that I've finally got the kind of net connection that would let me leave it on all the time if I wanted to. Playing now, because surviving on donations for that long they must be doing something right.

The "music for programming" sounds too much like it's carefully designed to be "for programming" just as advertised. Somehow too... earnest? The bits I listened to seemed slightly dull.
posted by sfenders at 12:05 PM on April 26, 2012


Their choice of music for focusing on work is exactly the opposite of mine.

I want catchy beats, but fairly repetitive stuff, especially in major keys (happy stuff).

Paul Van Dyk's album "Global" comes to mind as the all-time champ for this.
Limbik Frequencies mp3 stream is also pretty good most days.
posted by talldean at 12:18 PM on April 26, 2012


Brian Eno's music was explicitly designed to aid work, works way better. There is also plenty of music that, although rhythmic or lyrical, doesn't prove overly distracting, like Deadmou5, Informatik, Mind.In.A.Box, Rome, Seabound, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:59 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Groove Salad! Man, I haven't listened to that in about ten years.

Sadly, you'll find that the playlist hasn't changed much since then. Dunno why, but Rusty doesn't add new tracks very often. Real nice guy though, met him once at a festival. Also, credit where credit is due, GS did introduce me to downtempo.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:17 PM on April 26, 2012


I use a Philip Glass ballet, DancePieces, it has the lyricism you'd expect in dance music, and is not so, ah... tinny, but it's somewhat hypnotic Glass.
posted by sammyo at 4:58 PM on April 26, 2012


trance

Here's one of my trance mixes :)
posted by empath at 5:54 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll have to try this tomorrow at work.

I can believe the bit about drones and textures aiding productivity — I recently discovered M83 and the last track on "Saturdays = Youth" is 8 minutes of the same two long chords alternating back and forth. When it ends I always feel like I've come out of a trance, and then look back and go "whoa" because I got so much done.
posted by spitefulcrow at 8:54 PM on April 26, 2012


Yeah, my m83 channel on Pandora is my goto, when I'm not at my turntable.fm channel.
posted by empath at 6:40 AM on April 27, 2012


Their choice of music for focusing on work is exactly the opposite of mine.
I want catchy beats, but fairly repetitive stuff, especially in major keys (happy stuff).


That's interesting because I always thought the conventional wisdom for productive music was stuff with catchy beats but it never worked for me because the beats were just. Too. Catchy! Infectious! Beats! Can't...concentrate! GRAAAAAAAAAAAGHGG *trance mode*

So yeah the weird droney stuff works waaaay better for me.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:40 AM on April 27, 2012


I find that stuff with heavy beats can be great when in the 'zone', or getting into it... Post Rock as well, but for intermediate hack mode, rather than deep..

One important thing (in theory, YMMV) is to have the speakers round the monitor so the sound is coming from your point of focus, as concentration works in quite a positional manner. I'm sure there's even a term for it, but not finding it right now, it was one of the entries in Mind Hacks IIRC. A corollary of that is having it loud enough so that it overwhelms all distracting sounds from outside your focal point resulting in induced audio foveation - to make up pretentious and quasi-meaningful term in lieu of the one I can't remember.
posted by titus-g at 4:24 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've actually thought a lot about this in he past, and it's repetition that matters more than anything else. Long songs, continuously mixed CDs, songs built around solid grooves with a lot of vamping. Anything where your brain can lock onto a pattern with subtle variation and no or few sudden changes. Which happens to have a lot of overlap with "dance music" broadly defined. Some kinds of jazz, jam bands, funk, techno, even post-rock, to an extent all work for various people, but I think whatever songs and mixes work, they have those elements in common.
posted by empath at 7:53 AM on April 28, 2012


Hacker news are currently having another discussion about what music they listen to while programming
posted by Z303 at 1:06 PM on April 28, 2012


Hacker news are currently having another discussion about what music they listen to while programming

Wow and people think mefites over think plates of beans. I just read something about taxonomy as a cognitive survival mechanism.
posted by pmcp at 5:05 PM on April 28, 2012


Anybody who quotes Generation Ecstasy is my kind of people.
posted by empath at 5:27 PM on April 28, 2012


The first track, 'Plinty' - Frog Pocket, was so plink-ety sounding it made me feel like I was chewing on aluminium foil.

This lead to a starting realisation for me. It'd never occurred to me that that sounds slightly synasthesiac, and additionally, when people refer to 'metallic' sounds, they probably mean, made with striking metallic objects, rather than, 'feels like I'm chewing soft metal' which is what I have always associated it with.
Huh.
In conversation with a friend, we theorised that this is probably due to some sound frequencies being carried through the jaw. Other tracks though, made the back of my neck tense up, so I have no excuse there except for... varying taste in music?

So, interesting synaesthesia, but I was very surprised to find it one of the more literally painful music mixes I've tried to listen to in quite a while. Oh well. One mans meat is another's poison, etc.

I am very happy for all the other metafilter users who will enjoy this though, and seriously, thank Baldwin for headphones.
posted by Elysum at 4:37 PM on April 29, 2012


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