Do you listen to music when you work?

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  • Hi! Not posted for years because of multiple health issues. Had a bypass before Covid and a LBKA during lockdown! I listen to music when myself at home office or alone in work's office as I miss phone if I use headphones.  The music varies depending on mood varying from adagios to metal. Currently listening to the Outlaws  (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson)

  • Always music, it energizes without distracting, and masks other distractions. I use star ratings and tempo/loudness groupings, so I can just run a "smart" playlist to randomize the right type of music for the focus/energy level I need. I like a wide variety, and Jethro Tull is one of my favorites, but oddly I focus best with fast and loud (generally heavy metal).

    Screenshot 2024-04-20 033555

  • I had never considered this as I never worked in an environment where music was played.  I had various situations from private offices with doors to individual cubicles and even areas of four or more coworkers.  My instinct tells me we should err on the side of caution.   I do recall that sometimes telephone conversations could be very distracting.   My wife and I share our home office.  I typically will have some music playing when I'm alone, and she plays music in her own area at the other end of the house.  When she comes to the office to do her computer work for her small business, I usually turn the music down or off, if for no other reason than so we can talk while in the same place.

    When we go out to eat with friends or family, I have often had to ask to have the music volume turned down so we can have nice conversations.  Most establishments are happy to do this, and if not we don't go back.  It seems the net effect of loud music just makes everyone talk louder which again is irritating.

    My music choices cover most everything except hard rock which I have always found irritating and pointless anyway.  If I can't hear the words, why sing at all?  It does seem that some pleasant music may actually help my concentration, but I don't know why that is.

    As an afterthought, I recall one place where even with individual offices a coworker across the hall had an alcohol problem and as a result made some quite loud sounds that were pretty disgusting.  I often had to close my door to concentrate there.

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  • Not as background.  But when I'm trying to find a problem, I'm combing through n lines of code, and I KNOW the answer is right there staring me in the face yet for whatever reason I cant see it,  then I like to stop, listen to a few songs, then get back to it. It's surprising how many times I get to the issue right away after that.

    The music itself doesn't matter, though I prefer lighter stuff for that, such as '60s brit pop or bands like Shonen Knife.

  • It depends  🙂

    Most of the time, I work in silence, but occasionally in the afternoon I'll put on some music. The rarity of the music is mostly because I find it distracts me and I'll wind up paying attention to the music rather than paying attention to my work. Also, I really am not fond of wearing headphones - even the open ear type bugs me after a while - so that also influences how long I listen to music. I can't play it out loud because others would be disturbed by the music.


  • Often  baroque and classical music. But also rock.  Depends on the task and the mood.  🙂

  • I try to at work at the site, as it is I get constant interruptions for most of the day. They also block my bandcamp site so I use bone conduction headphones and the bandcamp app witrh an iPhone so I can hear people if I have to. At home I do the same.

    My playlist from bandcamp is all over the place but most of it is instrumental and ranging from jazz to ambient.

    My current favorite artists:

    Matteo Mancuso <- Amazing guitar player.


    Charlie Cawood

    Marjana Semkina

    Soft Machine

    Thirst and the Cow

    Anything King Crimson or Brand X related (including PAKT)

    Asif Sirkis

    Marcus Reuter and related

    Dewa Budjana

    Aralee Dorrough

    A kajillion ambient artists.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  kfries.
  • I prefer silence, as noise distracts me. During the pandemic, when I was working from home, it was my most productive period of time. My family would normally be quiet and leave me alone.

    Now that I've been forced back to the office, it is worse. Sometimes significantly so. I'm packed in with several other IT folk in a cubicle farm, where if the walls separating cubes, we could reach out and touch one another. In this environment people answering phone calls or talking with the guy next to them is all too frequent. And then there's this one manager who is on his phone for hours, always talking very loudly as if he thinks he has to shout at the other person at the other end, to be heard. This guy has no concept of an inside voice.

    So, I have to listen to music to try and block these distractions. Basically, anything that doesn't have any singing, because lyrics distract me. The only exception is Electronica, which if there's any lyrics they tend to repeat them 100 times per song. Easy to ignore after the first 5 repetitions.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • I listen to fairly unintrusive music.

    Movie soundtracks can be quite motivating without distracting.

    Similarly, I find some of the LoFi chanels on youtube excellent to help focus by giving a quiet constant beat thats not too quick.

    If im feeling anxious, I listen to bilateral / biolateral music on spotify. I find it really helps to calm racing thoughts and is also fantastic music to aid focus. Some may say its poppycock, dont knock it until you try it. I listen to the below mostly when working:

    • Tron legacy soundtrack
    • LOTR soundtrack, fellowship is my fav.
    • LoFi girl or any of the LoFi channels on youtube.
    • Bilateral music by Destined Dynamics on spotify/youtube
    • Sigur Ross
    • The Social Network soundtrack.
    • Interstellar soundtrack.
    • The Martian soundtrack.
  • when I do listen (mostly when working late hours on projects) is this one

    not quite what most would listen to "smooth" the spirit

  • I tend to lean towards electronica, like the Chill channel on Sirius XM or some of the Deep House channels on YouTube. It tends to block outside noise and internal voices so I can focus on what I'm doing.




  • I will occasionally listen to background music, whenever I happen to be working on some repetitive task. However, when troubleshooting a production issue or trying to concentrate on a complex development task, I prefer complete silence.

    Music I return to:

    • Portishead
    • Mogwai
    • Miss Monique

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • A lot of 80's music for me(hair metal).  AC/DC, Van Halen, Sammy Hagar, Lita Ford, White Snake, AeroSmith, WASP, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett...  With some occasional 50's and 60's hits, Elvis, Beach Boys...

    When I'm really concentrating I often block it out mentally.  I will stop the music every so often and look back at what has played and say to myself 'I don't remember that song  playing'.

    we travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us
    Don't fear failure, fear regret.

  • So what media do you all use for your music?  When I was young, my only media was a Sears Silvertone AM radio at the head of my bed.   Over time I migrated to FM radio, 78 rpm platters, 33 1/3 rpm platters, CDs.  At the point of CDs, I donated over 300 old platters and my turntable to Good Will when many of my favorites were republished in CD format.   I spent lots of time cleaning tracks from platters in the early days.  Now I have about 500 CDs in boxes in storage

    Now I use the Sirius Satellite in our car and the application in my office with a little 11" laptop connected to my network., but mostly listen to something over 70,000 digital tracks stored in Windows, WMP and played via some excellent BOSE speakers.  One of my obsessions in the tag data in this digital collection.  I have spent literally hundreds of hours manually editing the tag data to my own liking.  Early on the tag data that could be downloaded was pretty crappy due to poor typing and custom non-standard info including over 300 genres mostly due to typos.  Over the years I've traded collections with several others, even got one from a local radio station.  The whole collection fits on a little 2.5" USB drive for backup.

    This morning I'm into the (my) genre 'Folk American 60's'.  (for alphabetical organization...).  Some of my recent collection acquisitions are:

    Bands That Can Boogie Woogie, The Ink Spots Greatest Hits.



    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  skeleton567. Reason: error

    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

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