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Good instrumental dance music for studying?
November 4, 2012 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend good instrumental dance music for studying?

Even with Ritalin and enough coffee to kill a goat, I find it really difficult to concentrate on school work. Certain kinds of music seem to help, but it can't have words or it's too distracting with reading and writing tasks. I've tried classical and some of those "music for studying" albums but they don't do the job. Dance music seems to be good though (just not some of the more obnoxious electronic stuff). I think the steady beat helps to keep me going. Can anyone recommend any music like this?
posted by snailparade to Education (14 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
You may enjoy older house music. Others can give you more fine-grained responses, but I've been really digging Timnah Sommerfeldt's mixes for this purpose -- this one especially.
posted by zer0render at 10:23 AM on November 4, 2012


If you are particularly interested in the steady beat aspect, Dylan Drazen is good. There are sets with vocals, but they're easy to weed out. There are a ton of sets to download too.

Outside of the steady beat world, but still in the electronic genre, I greatly enjoy Boards of Canada, especially the Campfire Headphase album. That is my go to I-need-to-concentrate album.

Something else you might be interested in is Head Hunters era Herbie Hancock. Chameleon has an incredibly steady bass line.
posted by ifandonlyif at 10:36 AM on November 4, 2012


A couple that I like for this are the artists Four Tet and Nosaj Thing. Also try Ratatat.
I could go on but I might be on the wrong track and don't want to overwhelm you with options.
posted by kwes at 10:37 AM on November 4, 2012


I liked the music on this website -> Get Work Done

And I like how you can vary the tempo or flick through songs you don't like.
posted by Chorus at 10:55 AM on November 4, 2012




If you'd like to try something other than dance music, Steve Reich, a modernist/minimalist composer, might do the trick. Give Music for 18 Musicians a shot.
posted by LionIndex at 11:08 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


i have done so much great work to old boards of canada
posted by par court at 11:48 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Orbital's first album is my favourite for this purpose. Sample track.
posted by pont at 1:47 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tim Hecker
posted by R. Schlock at 2:31 PM on November 4, 2012


Someone here suggested Carla Bruni for this purpose (she sings but it's in French and it's very mellow). I've been listening to it a ton, it's like aural Ritalin.
posted by fshgrl at 2:56 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suggest you google [music for programming] and [music for coding], since the mental space is very much the same, and so are the requirements.

Here's some MeFi previously and AskMe previously.
posted by kandinski at 4:39 PM on November 4, 2012


I find (some) Philip Glass very conducive for reading and studying. The soundtrack to The Hours might be worth trying.
posted by Lexica at 8:13 PM on November 4, 2012


The Social Network OST - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Seriously, I credit this album for getting me through my thesis. It is EXACTLY what you are seeking. It isn't just pounding beats constantly (that leads to burnout, in my experience), but has a rhythm to it that swells and ebbs and is seriously just perfect.

You can even use it to pace myself and take occasional breaks. The length of the album is roughly how long I can focus in on one task, and the combination of the last and first track are a)a little slower and more relaxed than the rest of the album and b)about 7 minutes long, which is perfect for a little break to gather your thoughts.

A sample.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 8:32 AM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all the suggestions guys; they've been really helpful!

I found another really good resource for this - Songza - it's a site/app full of music playlists curated by activity. There are a bunch of playlists for "working (no lyrics)" and then a bunch of genres to choose from within that, and then it gives you a few playlists to choose from. Definitely recommend it.
posted by snailparade at 11:59 AM on March 11, 2013


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