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Best background music for reading physics

  1. Sep 28, 2010 #1

    Hepth

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    Best background music for reading physics :)

    I have about 5 hours worth of reading ahead of me of hep-ph papers and was wondering if anyone has any favourites/suggestions for non-distracting background music.

    I have a couple of Beirut albums on this computer, and a best-of Chopin, but thats it, so it gets repetitive really quickly.

    Suggestions!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2010 #2

    fss

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Seems like this would come down to personal preference more than anything else...?
     
  4. Sep 28, 2010 #3

    Hepth

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Well, I'm open to new music, and I'd prefer something new actually, but I (and I assume most people) find it difficult to focus on reading intense scientific articles and simultaneously doing calculations while listening to certain artists in each genre.

    There's definitely a sub-genre of each that could be described as "Good background music" that's non-distracting right? I'm sure there are plenty of physicists/engineers/etc here that have found certain artists/albums/etc work really well, and there's no better way to find out if it works for me too than to try it.
     
  5. Sep 28, 2010 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Ah, the greats.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9dpTTpjymE
     
  6. Sep 28, 2010 #5

    fss

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    I don't find Bach particularly distracting, mostly because I'm not a big Bach fan. YMMV, though. Anything between Beethoven and Stravinsky always causes me to lose focus, mostly because I'm too big of a classical music fan.
     
  7. Sep 28, 2010 #6

    Astronuc

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Probably adagios, pastorales and nocturnes would work. How about Haydn? Lizst? Camille Saint-Saens? Debussy? Bach?

    (J. S. Bach: Cantata Nº 208, 'Sheep May Safely Graze', BWV 208)

    I like Ralph Vaughn Williams and Samuel Barber, too.
    Barber Adagio for Strings

    The Lark Ascending - Ralph Vaughan Williams
    (my favorite piece by Williams)

    Avoid tunes with lyrics

    Classical Music to Study To :biggrin:
    https://www.amazon.com/Classical-Music-George-Frederick-Handel/dp/B00006314K/

    Of course, one could listen to the classic Moody Blues in the background.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  8. Sep 28, 2010 #7
    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Definitely The Used


    Or Enya
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  9. Sep 28, 2010 #8

    turbo

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    If I try to learn stuff while listening to music with lyrics, it has to be tunes that I'm so familiar with that they are ingrained in my brain. New tunes with lyrics are too distracting.

    Even non-lyrical stuff can be too much if the music is compelling, unless I have heard it a lot before, like the Firebird Suite, or Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.
     
  10. Sep 28, 2010 #9
    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    A little Sibelius, or maybe some Shostakovich, and not to be trite, but Mozart always works for me. Oh, and big band... don't ask me why because I do NOT know why.

    ...
    ...
    ...

    And Tuvan overtone singing... yeah I know I'm odd, so sue me.
     
  11. Sep 28, 2010 #10
    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    The genre of popular simple classics that Andre Rieu selects and his arrangements works great for me.





     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  12. Sep 28, 2010 #11

    jhae2.718

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Thank you. That made my day.

    On topic, I've always preferred to listen to classical while doing physics; I'll agree that lyrics are bad.
     
  13. Sep 28, 2010 #12

    diazona

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    I generally prefer smooth jazz as background music. It's music without surprises, in a sense - exactly the kind of thing you want when you're trying to get other work done. And it's easily streamed over the internet.

    Of course, most people would probably disagree....
     
  14. Sep 28, 2010 #13
    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    I'll let this go after one question... when you say smooth jazz... do you mean Kenny G? Be honest now... :biggrin:

    edit: Oh, and as an aside, I enjoy harpsichord music for a working environment... don't ask me why when I only play brass and woodwinds myself. *shrug* I guess we all have our eccentricities.
     
  15. Sep 28, 2010 #14

    lisab

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    I prefer classic jazz when I work. But studying...nothing, any sound is just a distraction.
     
  16. Sep 28, 2010 #15

    diazona

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Kenny G is a smooth jazz artist, whatever you make of that...
     
  17. Sep 28, 2010 #16
    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Oh Diazona... aiya.
     
  18. Sep 28, 2010 #17

    diazona

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    :rofl: well for all I knew you could have been asking about exact equivalence of the sets "songs performed by Kenny G" and "smooth jazz songs" and I wasn't about to let you get away with that :tongue:
     
  19. Sep 29, 2010 #18
    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Heh, maaaaaybe... but putting that aside, I wouldn't put all of smooth jazz into the "Kenny G" pile.
     
  20. Sep 29, 2010 #19

    diazona

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Oh, of course not. There's a lot more to it than just Kenny G. I actually prefer some of the funkier stuff a lot of the time.
     
  21. Sep 29, 2010 #20
    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    Jonathon Coulton
    Nine Inch Nails
    Tool
    A Perfect Circle
    The White Stripes
    Pink Floyd
     
  22. Oct 31, 2010 #21

    Astronuc

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    Re: Best background music for reading physics :)

    I finally remember the CD of a collection Classical Music.

    Classical Dreams - https://www.amazon.com/Classical-Dreams-Inspire-Gregorian-Chant/dp/B00005Q467/

    This CD has the best version of Rachmaninoff's Vocalise

    Disc: 1 (tracks with conductor)
    1. Antiphon: Ecce Annuntio Vobis - Dominique Vellard
    2. Symphony No. 5: Adagietto - Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    3. Gymnopedie No. 1 - Paul Tortelier
    4. Pavane - Paul Tortelier
    5. The Planets: Venus - Sir Charles Mackerras
    6. Old And Lost Rivers - Christoph Eschenbach
    7. Prld To The Afternoon Of A Faun - Dmitri Kitaenko
    8. Summer Pastorale - Jesus Lopez-Cobos
    9. Masques Et Bergamasques: Pastorale - Jean-Bernard Pommier
    10. Summa - Bournemouth Sinfonietta
    11. Pictures At An Exhibition: The Old Castle - Sir Charles Mackerras
    12. The Wounded Heart - Jonathan Rees
    13. Ser in e: Larghetto - Andrew Litton

    Disc: 2
    1. Apollon Musagete: The Birth Of Apollo - Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    2. Adagio for Strings - City Of London Sinfonia
    3. The Swan Of Tuonela - Paavo Jarvi
    4. Enigma Vars: Nimrod - RPO/Andrew Litton
    5. Petite Ste: En Bateau (Orch. Busser) - Jean-Bernard Pommier
    6. Holberg Ste: Air - Jonathan Rees
    7. Fantasia On 'Greensleeves' - Christopher Warren-Green
    8. Gymnopedie No. 3 - Paul Tortelier
    9. Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte - Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    10. The Last Spring - Jonathan Rees
    11. Thais: Meditation (From Thais) - Paul Tortelier
    12. Vocalise - Andrew Litton
    13. Mother Goose: The Fairy Garden - Dmitri Kitaenko
    14. Antiphon: Ecce Annuntio Vobis - Dominique Vellard

    Another enhanced set - Ultimate Classical Dreams
    https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Classical-Dreams-Various-Artists/dp/B001UGIS9I
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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