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Music for Programming (musicforprogramming.net)
307 points by Vaslo on July 5, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 145 comments

I’m not sure what I mean fully by this yet, but I want adaptive music like in video games where it evolves and swells based on how much keyboard input is going on.

No input? Im reading or idle, so calm down the music. Lots of typing? Im coding or documenting and need the tempo to pick up and maybe more instruments to join.

You probably want something slightly different. Fast-slow is one dimension, but pretty strong cognitive psychology research points at complexity (or even cognitive load more precisely, like new genres and off-tempo music). You can mix the two, but you can try fast, complex and new music for coding and see how it goes. It's easy in video games, since games have all the context and 'music too annoying for the fight' gets picked up quite easily in testing, even if someone happens to not know science behind it.

Check out graph on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerkes%E2%80%93Dodson_law What you would ideally have is a music adapting to changes in your cognitive load - which can be modeled surprisingly easily with even the weakest biofeedback tools, like some smart bands. You know, how you sometimes have to turn off the radio when looking for something while driving, or how stuff is so easy it gets boring to the point where you can't work? Yeah, that's Yerkes-Dodson.

I bounced off that idea when trying to figure out reasonably popular band brand (because they are not trying to help you develop for that hardware) - if someone has any experience with those and likes the idea, absolutely hit me up.

From what I've read, shopping music was designed to provide a 15 minute cycle of stimulation and relaxation, as it was thought to increase sales. Rather than following your moods, it could be programmed to enhance your productivity.

But when my kids had those little Nintendo games, I was struck by the idea of having some kind of music that follows me through the ups and downs of life.

This was the thinking behind Muzak’s ‘Stimulus Progression’ background music concept [1], I wonder if this is what you’re referring to? Great tunes!

[1] https://youtu.be/AlY3jsxlzVg

Yes, that's it.

Interesting idea. I sometimes find that when I’ve been concentrating really hard, ‘in the zone’ (whether that’s programming or other cognitive work) I can come out it feeling quite stressed and drained.

So maybe experimenting with the opposite would be valuable for me: pick the tempo up when I’m slow, and then calm me down when I get too into it!

Not particularly music for programming but Opera GX Browser [0] inbuilt ambient music does this job. Obviously it is only for in-browser typing though.

[0] https://www.opera.com/gx

I'd say play sombre suspenseful scapes when nothing much's going on, since you're likely pondering how to proceed with your world domination plans.

Then funky techno action music when the execution phase commences.

Bhob Rainey's Peev attempts to do something like that: https://github.com/mphonic/peev

It's unfortunate there's no way to objectively infer one's mood because this would be the perfect use of that info

With an option to invert that pattern.

I’d be curious to see if more energetic music when I’m in a lull would speed things up. Musical motivation.

It might be more reflective of the intensity of your coding if you could have it go by depth in a syntactic construct; e.g. for Lisp, number of currently open parentheses. In fact, I now want to implement this — for Emacs, naturally.

Sounds like a good way for me to make a lot of errors because I’m trying to write things too fast.

I’ve found foreign language music and LoFi work fine, I just need to skip songs that aren’t working.

World of Warcraft ambient music is just awesome.(Unless you're a WoW junkie because it'll make you want to play)

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTPn_Nk_KrM

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oeo2VCCtUZQ

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjTe0R2bREY


    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBkcwy-iWt8

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgUaZz04bkw

Blade Runner

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3fz6CC45ok

LOTR - Nazgul Ambience

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1Wum6hQclU

I don't usually listen to rain because it makes me want to sleep, not work, but some ambience videos with rain are pretty nice

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzEfSjTYvDc

And my go-to music for when I'm tired and I need a boost.

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RlJig87Px0

Here's a good Ambient playlist that I found and it's great for listening while programming: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1ugMRn7db1Cy0VD7a6VvUc?si=...

Taste is such a funny thing. I generally like ambient and electronica, Monolake, Tim Hecker, etc. I hated every second of the playlist you posted! :). Anyway, thanks for putting it out there.

When I program I listen to a lot of bird song/rain noise. Helps me focus.

I love this one for programming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_OHjeugEv4

The Witcher 3 Soundtrack is also really nice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-cC3wSKAGk

videogame playlist are such a dopamine boost for players, I've a set with pro street, horizon 4 and vampire the masquerade, it's great for when I need that extra couple hours of concentration

I am experimenting with trying to go in the opposite direction and not listen to music at all. I mean this in the sense of actively trying to get music out of my life completely.

I can't listen to music and sleep or do anything even vaguely productive. It just takes over. It feels more like an addiction to music than something that adds value to my life.

I'm a big advocate of what might be called mindful or active music listening. Listen to music in the same way that you would watch an interesting movie or read a novel. It's actually kind of bizarre that such a rich artform is so often relegated to background accompaniment for some other task. At first it might feel as though you're wasting time if you're 'only' listening to music without your eyes/hands engaged in something, but I find that goes away if you are actively engaged in the musical narrative.

I have been like this all my life (39 years). When I was a kid my dad used to play us some children LPs. My brother and I sat down to listen to those stories.

As I grew up, I kept actively listening to music, (both classica/baroque that my dad played on CDs or heavy metal music I loved). Same thing happened with TV/movies.

Nowadays, my wife loves to turn on the TV when we are eating just as "background noise" but darn I find it difficult to focus on eaeting/table-conversation vs whatever is in the TV. For me music and TV have always been mindful activities.

>It's actually kind of bizarre that such a rich artform is so often relegated to background accompaniment for some other task

This is so true, and also sad. I used to go to the Gewandhaus Leipzig in Germany to listen to live classical music concert. The appreciation of richness of a lot of music is being lost.

We tend to go more and more towards the opposite though, as it's common to watch netflix and do something else, or listen to a podcast or an audiobook while doing pretty engaging activities like driving or sports. So I don't think it's solely a music thing, it's perhaps just a bit older because the radio has been around for longer than podcasts or youtube. And I can't do most of those things myself (multi-task with artistic stuff).

I'm mostly like you in that I prefer actively listening to things (especially when searching for new things). But revisiting known things without searching for more can also offer different feelings, like a sense of comfort or some mental priming for a mood while you're doing something else. It's two different ways to listen to music for two different kinds of experiences.

I've found this is the only thing that works when I have a melody stuck in my head. Actively listening to it tends to fix it up fairly quickly.

As a hobbyist musician, music is often too distracting while I'm coding because I am actively enjoying the nuances of the song. Though, if it's a song I've heard several times already, that can work.

I found for myself that it stops being distracting and becomes helpful if I drop the volume low enough to stop vibing to the music

I mostly just listen to rain sounds, its super relaxing and it doesn't distract me as much as when "a good song" comes along. Though its a bit odd when its sunny, but it works.

mynoise.net is amazing

The iPhone app just led to me catching up on a lot of sleep despite being in a noisy hotel room. Being able to EQ the white noise to fine tune it to block specific ambient noises is a game-changing feature.

I don't believe Music really aids concentration. Maybe it encourages the worker to stay in the office and work, because it makes the environment more enjoyable overall, and at the cost of less concentration - in my opinion. It is like adding sugar to swallow a bitter medicine

I love Music and art, while I realize it doesn't contribute anything practical to my life. Rather, it is the very thing I live for.

For me, if I cut out music with words, it’s useful; music with words destroys my productivity

One thing that works for me there is music in a language I don't speak. Sure I'll recognise words and will sing along, but I have no idea what I'm saying anyway so its actually not that distracting.

Yes. Foreign language is great for this.

MC Solaar, Amadou and Mariam, some k-pop (last played was (G)I-DLE), Onda Vaga… that’s all I can think off off the top of my head.

I think I would rather die than stop listening to music in any context

I never listen to music while I code.

I've tried it, many times, but it never works.

I don't even like sound-masking headphones.

I've never been a passive music listener. As a child I found muzak in supermarkets and lifts and radio stations in people's cars to be borderline insane. Why would you permit your mind to be occupied by such noise? I found it troubling that nobody shared my perspective.

Later I read in to Buddhism and IIRC it has the same take, essentially if you allow yourself to be subsumed by senses you are displaying laziness. Not denying the aesthetics, these days I am less intellectual and can tolerate some music but it's still pretty grating. I find I can listen to a given piece of music with lyrics precisely once or twice, after which it is intolerable. Music without lyrics or with foreign language lyrics have better staying power, but it's still weak.

I explained to my child this week (while putting on some lute music as a contrast to Chinese string instruments) that in the past there was no recorded music and all music was experienced live. This is often forgotten.

Now as ever, I tend to program in silence.

I definitely have a similar thing. Often I’ll listen to music, and then it sort of replaces my usual thought stream, so instead of thinking clearly and consciously, I’m just sort of on autopilot singing a song to myself in my head. I don’t mind that sometimes, but it’s not productive.

Try dark ambient, e.g., the Lustmord station on Pandora

Fills the silence, stimulates, but can't hold your attention

Soundtrack music that you get in movies is designed not to compete with whatever is on screen. I would drop anything with lyrics as that will demand attention from your brain.

Video game soundtracks are much the same. I code to the final fantasy soundtracks

Yep, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have a lot of good albums that were used for soundtracks that are great for coding.

I noticed that when I play league of legends [very competitive game]

I play way worse when I listen to music than when I turn this off

unfortunely this thing is so addictive that I struggle to not listen to anything when working

Impact of music on people is interesting topic I guess

e.g how it affects risk taking - like you know, when there's some more "spiky" "crazier" song like from Disturbed, then I'd say it increases the likehood of taking risk

This is one of the strangest things I've ever heard. I understand it, but wouldn't you rather spend time deliberately enjoying something you enjoy rather than stamp it out in the name of raw output?

I personally can't imagine what life would be like without music

Not every moment of life needs to be productive.

What kind of music?

I found this about 6 years ago and it has genuinely changed the way I work. I can’t listen to music that has any “real” vocals (i.e the vocals are the focus, unlike a lot of electronic music) while programming as it distracts me.

But these compilations are perfect - it lets me slip into a state of flow quicker than anything I’ve listened to before or since. It’s not particularly enjoyable in and of itself, but if I’m in a situation where I really need to get something done and focus then it’s my go-to.

I trend towards "progressive" rock music, which is "more music than vocals", but not purely either. As a rule, I don't "listen" to the lyrics, I've never been much for what the songs "mean". I treat the vocals as just yet another instrument in the package.

Prog rock songs also tend to be long, as well as the albums. It's not untoward for me to put an album in the background and have it playing for an entire week. Sometimes I'll stream morow.com, an online prog streaming station.

Currently, I'm hooked on two Genesis concerts, from '87 and '92 at Wembley, that I can't seem to get enough of. I've been playing them solid for over a month off of YouTube. Abacab from the '87 concert is particularly good.

You might also like the Groove Salad channel on https://somafm.com. At least, for me music with vocals distracts, while both musicforprogramming and Groove Salad work great.

Their Black Rock FM is also nice. What I get a kick from is when I suddenly know how to solve the problem and music changes accordingly, gives you a hacker-movie-like feel :)

Man, I used to listen to that a bunch back in the day but forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder!

SomaFM also has a station called DEF CON Radio, described as "Music for Hacking."

As long as the vocals are not in a language I speak, they're fine by me. I think not understanding the vocals frees our mind to concentrate in text-based tasks.

Ironically, I hate electronic and techno pump-pump-pump music, but I enjoy chiptunes, specially classic videogame soundtracks. I have to listen to them with earphones, otherwise my colleagues will think I'm playing games instead of working.

For me the lyrics must not be in the language I’m thinking at that moment.

I’m French, so listening to a song in english while reading in french is not a problem.

But if I read something in english, then english lyrics will bother me (and vice versa)

Lately I've found that music by the band KISS is great for coding. The songs are energetic enough to keep me focused and awake, but not so deeply rich in composition or lyrical content that I'm going to get distracted.

I have had a similar experience with the band Ministry. High energy, drowns out any background chatter, gets me into a flow state, somehow. I think it is partially because they are not a band I really listen to for pleasure so I don’t know any of the songs particularly well, and there is a high amount of distortion in the vocals so I don’t even feel the need to try and understand. Seems counterintuitive but it works for me.

If you like Ministry, I'm guessing you probably also like Gravity Kills, Prong, KMFDM, and Pitchshifter (amongst others). Kind of similar. Used to listen to them a bunch back in the day. Should probably try giving them another go.

Ministry is awesome for coding.

It’s pleasantly surprising that Ministry is specifically mentioned here! I haven’t always listened to music while working, but when I did, it was almost all Ministry. Very rhythmically mechanical (even for industrial), and driving. I found it great for powering through something I didn’t want to do, or when I was tired. Worked better than caffeine.

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day

(Actual lyrics)

I find that Grateful Dead works for me for this purpose, and they have enough material, one wont run out of it in a long long time.

> not so deeply rich in composition or lyrical content

KISS and rich lyrical content would be like sunshine in the shade

This short clip of Lisa Lampanelli roasting Gene Simmons talks about that, and ends with maybe my favourite gag of all time:


There is a Kiss album called Hot in the Shade.

I tried a lot of "Music for programming" but found out I'm not a fan at all.

My favorite music for programming is the soundtrack from the video game Stellaris[0]. It has the "Interstellar" vibe but less dramatic and more tranquil, making it perfect for programming IMO.

[0] https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyH4vonV9j1vPfAgU6wUZ_7A5...

People should try Hindustani classical. It's my go to when I want to escape into work.

Its melodious, but in a very gentle way so you don't get tired of it playing in the background for hours.

Ravi Shankar: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tujcCI6MLD0

Philip Glass with Ravi Shankar - just music: https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNzIFrLhrcXwltQRyMIifaV...

Spotify: Ragas for Yoga Hindustani classical

Interesting trivia: Ravi Shankar is Nora Jones' father.

This is pretty cool. Thanks for sharing.

There is also Brain.fm: https://www.brain.fm/ which should use a generated music to help you focus, they also have some research behind it. I listen to it here and there and it seems to work for me.

I'll second this. I've been a subscriber for a couple years now. What I like specifically is that they allow you to select a context ("Focus", "Relax", "Sleep", or "Meditate") each with several sub-contexts (e.g. "Focus" has "Deep Work", "Creative Flow", "Study & Read", or "Light Work").

It has helped me overcome a lot of distraction in order to get me started on work and keeping me focused once I've gotten started. It's worth the money, in my opinion.

I eagerly checked it out and then realized that they pay model is Subscription - the latest plague of the internet. There are very few things where subscription is appropriate and this is not one of them.

What I miss most about those collections is that they are browser based, and when I'm programming, if I need the music to stop, or I get a call, or something, I have to go find the tab and manually stop it.

I'm trying to maintain a list of radios in .pls/.m3u format [1], so I can choose how I play them (emacs+mplayer).

- Don't like the current song? m-x kill-radio RET

- Want to store the current name of the song? m-x hit RET

Making the interface as painless as possible is part of what makes music for programming more relaxing to me. I find strange there are not more of those kinds of repos around (I haven't found them)

1. https://github.com/kidd/radios

I'm not a big fan of chrome for a lot of reasons these days, but recent-ish chrome got a feature of a button in the top-right that's present whenever audio is playing somewhere in the browser, that shows all media playing, and that lets you pause/play or move through playlists regardless of the tab you're on.

Using it, I can see what's playing in a youtube tab and pause it while I type this without leaving the tab. If you leave audio paused/stopped long enough though (~a few minutes), it'll stop being accessible through that control and you have to go to the tab you started it in.

I use this a lot when I have 1-2 talks and 2-3 music tabs open, sometimes scattered among 50-80 other tabs.

edit: and I've just confirmed for myself that this control works for content on musicforprogramming.net :)

Sounds like you might be interested in playerctl [0]. I use global shortcuts for its play, pause, next, and previous actions. It has the ability to control Spotify, Firefox and other players. And Firefox media controls work for YouTube, SoundCloud, and even the site this post is about.

0: https://github.com/altdesktop/playerctl

I can confirm, I integrated playerctl with my i3 environment, very pleased by it! Especially binding pause with locking my screen, it prevent me to loose track of my current podcast.

The only limitation that I found : if you have multiples media playing, playerctl will interact only with the lastest used one. So when you are running multiples one, you can't stop them all at once.

yes! that looks super useful indeed. Thanks!

BTW, since there are links to mp3s here, you could probably dump them into a playlist like the radios.

Browsers do support media controls these days, but that likely excludes the prev/next buttons on most sites—like in this case.

My personal gripe with online music players is that they often don't have volume control and play at ludicrous loudness (ahem), whereas everything audio-playing on my system is adjusted to a certain average volume, and I only make small nudges now and then since we still haven't learned to normalize.

> What I miss most about those collections is that they are browser based

No, they're not... there's an MP3 download link for each of the titles on that page.

Yep, sorry about that, I meant in general. This particular case is fine, and I am grateful for that.

The latest Mac OS has a Status Menu bar icon that gives you play/pause for all playing items, including specific browser tabs.

fwiw there's an MP3 link at the top of each episode's description, and a link to a torrent of episodes 1-52 at the bottom.

I listen to upbeat music, mainly in the speedcore, gabber and happy hardcore genre

t+pazolite - You are the Miserable (Laur Remix): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RJQbSLPVZY

Kobaryo - Sparkling Software: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZYz7twiTDw

USAO - Wildfire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59kibHt0LVU

Team Grimoire - TiamaT-F minor -Zeit Ende-: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvLDLiy_MT4

Distorted Voices - Oldskool Meets (Uptempo Mashup): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBzhh85jMxk

Dr. Peacock - Trip to Ireland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvrvQTUbUcA

SEMARGL - Credo Revolution (Zardonic Remix): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSjaEHoi1_c

Listening to these music makes me concentrated while being able to keep up logical thinking, really great

I've encountered programmers who listed to wildly different types of music.

However, what we all had in common is that we felt like the part of our brain that is easily distracted is occupied with the music, leaving the compute brain able to focus more precisely.

In the 1970s Brian Eno invented Ambient Music. He wrote: "Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular, it must be as ignorable as it is interesting."

excellent description - similar to Sam Harris about meditation: “Meditation really doesn’t work unless it works.”

Here’s my (currently) favorite playlist [Ambient Space Music]: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3a8JfgQsjL6Q1kdlQZa2jq?si=...

This is an interesting topic, for me I have found the best music is the most chaotic and fast paced. Something about the pure raw aggressiveness works for me.

Genres like Black/Death Metal, Breakcore, although I also like Darksynth, Witchhouse etc...





Wow, glad to hear I'm not the only one. People think I'm crazy and don't know how I can concentrate, but when I really need to focus and get some programming done quickly I throw on some speed metal and just cruise.

+1 on team aggressive music / calm concentration :-)

@pjgalbraith's suggestions were really great -- Venetian Snares all day!! -- here are few more. Join in and share :-)

Hard techno https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w0irSFx8-o

Baroque-inspired Breakcore. Fantastic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5ATuxUnKqc (recommended: 5:01)



U+1F918 :-)

Great to hear that I'm not the only one! Awesome suggestions. That Igorrr album is amazing.

I've started listening to those hours long nature sound videos on YouTube with a noise cancelling over-ear headset.

Like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1y9GAjuSt8&t=10575s or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm846KdZN_c&t=2604s

Or some minimal techno https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WddpRmmAYkg&t=2495s

I do this too periodically. It works for me.

In a past life I used to do mindless work that allowed me to listen to podcasts all day, but once I switched to being a programmer I quickly realized that I couldn’t work and listen to anything that demands your attention.

At first I tried rain noises and other forms of white noise but that gets old fast. Then I moved on to ambient music. I can’t listen to anything with pianos or guitars in it. There are guys I work with that listen to EDM all day, I don’t know how they consintrate with that blasting in their ears.

These days I’ve moved on to something new: Gregorian chant, because I don’t understand Latin I can tune it out and focus.

I only played a few samples but it felt more like music to meditate to. Which is great if that's the headspace you like to program in, but I need something with a much faster tempo to keep me engaged in programming.

Same. I've found trailer music [1] works well for me while programming (needs to be relatively upbeat and without words, which I find distracting). You can find a lot of it on spotify.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailer_music

I love programming to dark prog (~135bpm) or forest (~150bpm).

A good friend of mine and one of my favorite DJ artist has a nice selection of sets [1] to get you started, let me know if you want more.

[1] https://soundcloud.com/jorineke

You might like DJ Bolivia's Music to Code By , which seems to run about 132 bpm:


You might enjoy DI FM [1] which I've found has an excellent range of faster and slower tempo music for programming.

[1] https://www.di.fm

Some of it sounds like the old ambient genre people were experimenting with in the late 90s early 2ks (perhaps before but thats when i become aware of it). For faster tempo, go dnb.

I also just played a few samles, and it’s not for me. It found the few I tried to be noisy and distracting.

No mention of vip.aersia.net here; this is a curated collected of video game music that's been around for the better part of a decade. Well worth a listen if you like video game music.

A few years ago I settled on a subscription to Digitally Imported [1], which is a music streaming service specialising in electronic/dance/ambient music. Most of the tracks are without lyrics which is important for me, as I can’t code to music with vocals.

Tired of listening through the browser, I found Radio for Mac [2] which allows you to play streams - DI publishes the stream address for all of its stations, so you can pipe these into Radio and hence listen to their music without needing a browser open.

Radio also has a recording feature - a stream can be recorded and saved as an mp3 file. After a few months of subscribing to DI I noticed they were simply repeating the same (few hundred) tracks on each station. So I set up my Mac to record a few stations over the course of a month, so I could listen to the tracks when offline (with Tiny player [3]). Since I was listening to the same songs over and over, I started to question whether I needed a subscription to DI any more…

[1] https://www.di.fm/ [2] http://radioformac.com/ [3] https://www.catnapgames.com/tiny-player-for-mac/

If you find police or air traffic control Comms calming there is http://youarelistening.to/

Brian Eno's stuff ("New space music", "Neroli / Thinking music IV", "Compact forest proposal") is sometimes good for getting focused.

Or his evil brother, Lustmord ("The Place Where the Black Stars Hang")

hahah, thanks, I hadn't heard about his evil brother. :)

I have been using https://mynoise.net/ to focus during my work.

I use it all the time, my favourite is the white rain: https://mynoise.net/NoiseMachines/whiteRainNoiseGenerator.ph...

You can configure it and even calibrate it to your headphones.

I contributed $, which gets me access to the "make your own" feature where you can combine their collection of stems any way you like. Now I have the problem where I can easily spend an hour playing with MyNoise to make the best mix for the work I should be doing.

Assuming you like classical, KMFA[0] is a non-profit, listener-supported classical music station that has been broadcasting for over 50 years. They also stream their content for the web 24 hours a day...

[0]: https://www.kmfa.org/

If you want to feel like a 1337 hax0r while coding, try out the Bourne movie soundtracks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx4Gb5TK0qw

Mirror's Edge Catalyst (full album) is one of my go-tos. Here's some of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PLPfL6Tge4

As usual, I have to note that this was made by Datashat (aka Datassette), who also has these glorious Businessfunk mixes: http://datassette.net/businessfunk/

Plus the fourth mix for the Near Mint programme: https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/near-mint-8th-march-2016-...

I like two genres that helps me to focus on problems. None of these have vocals and repetitive enough not to derail me :)

Long dubtechno mixes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pDsbHKqFcg

Psychedelic / Stoner Rock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ors0wpcVDcc

Here is the 800hr+ ambient playlist from Spotify. Hasn’t been updated for a while but I guess with that kind of length it doesn’t really matter.


My go to music is the band Kiasmos. They're an Icelandic duo that plays atmospheric/minimal techno music. They're on hiatus now, so if anyone has any music that's like this, I'd love to hear your recommendation.

Kiasmos - Full Performance (Live on KEXP): https://youtu.be/liGXsloELpk?t=155

I can't have any music playing when programming, because my brain focuses on the music and I get nothing done. My wife is ADHD, and she must have music (and possibly something else) playing, or else she can't get any work done. I've always wondered if people who need music to work are ADHD, based on my limited sample size (no pun intended).

I have a separate mp3 player without internet that I've put all these tracks on and it is my go-to focus fuel

This sounds great. I've been listening to Komiku's "It's time for Adventure" album(s):


I have tried so many music genres and following 2 works for me:

- Film scores (not including the lyrics ones)

- Game music

These I think tries to keep you engaged in the primary action (coding, playing game, or engrossed in movie, reading) without you noticing it too often.

Some repetitive familiar classical music (e.g. Chopin) also does the same to me.

Don’t miss the three hidden tracks under “Enterprise Mode.” Those are actually some of my fav’s

Cool site. Personally, when I am coding, I can't really have noise of any kind else I will be distracted and/or irritated. I know some people who always need light music in the background while they are coding. Just never really worked for me.

My favourite, repetitive but somehow i don't get bored: https://youtube.com/watch?v=-6WNB9JN_2o

Past related threads:

Music for Programming - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27448249 - June 2021 (1 comment)

Music for Programming - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22184183 - Jan 2020 (1 comment)

Music for Programming (2011) - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21771600 - Dec 2019 (261 comments)

Why black metal is great music for programming (but doom metal isn’t) - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20152923 - June 2019 (1 comment)

Function musicForProgramming(task) {} - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17573053 - July 2018 (5 comments)

Music for Programming - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12844434 - Nov 2016 (427 comments)

Ask HN: Ultimate Music Playlists for Programming - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12761453 - Oct 2016 (5 comments)

Music for programming :) - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12037320 - July 2016 (1 comment)

Show HN: I've made a music [remix] to help me concentrate while programming - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8767695 - Dec 2014 (8 comments)

Incredibox - Background music for programming. - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3900711 - April 2012 (167 comments)

MusicForProgramming(); - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3605957 - Feb 2012 (95 comments)

MusicForProgramming(); - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3547694 - Feb 2012 (180 comments)

Music for Programming - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2024117 - Dec 2010 (1 comment)

Working from home, I've started singing along to pop music I've heard so many times I no longer think about the lyrics. Stuff like Billy Joel, Oasis, The Killers.

I tried this site but I couldn't find any playlists that didn't annoy me after a few minutes. Inevitably I fall back on video game (usually indie or rpg) OSTs

Any specific recommendations and where to get the from?

Sure, but you might not like the OSTs as much if you haven't played the games they accompany. I usually listen either on Spotify or Youtube. Here are some I've been listening to recently

- Celeste - https://open.spotify.com/album/5OZHQ7KG8k04IOkF50fACO

- SpaceChem - https://open.spotify.com/album/51EoYHhpOsy9l47Txvwi1b

- Chrono Trigger - https://open.spotify.com/album/2kOD9QzcUkeT57RJkNvQpH

This is great, I also like the Flow State Podcast on Spotify

House music gets me going


    function musicForProgramming(task='programming') { }
c'mon use default args, and template literals

If you’re not a fan of instrumental music try listening to music that is not in English.

I find it has the same non-distracting effect

This makes sense if you only speak English, but a lot of people in this forum speak at least two languages.

The principle is the same, just find music in languages your brain doesn't understand.

Obviously the principle is the same. I’m calling out a bias in the phrasing, which has the unintended side effect of ostracizing a group.

While the phrasing may make some feel ostracized, it would appear to also make some feel selfrighteous, so maybe it evens out?

I was pointing out a mistake that inadvertently causes harm. I’m doing it exactly the way I would in a code review. I’m sorry this comes across to you as self righteous, but what I did is absolutely the right thing to do in the face of mistakes like this.

how is what you are doing helping? who could it possibly help?

the comment you responded to was written in english- in this language, the word 'english' can be colloquially understood as meaning 'in terms you understand', as in phrases like 'could you explain that in english?', which is not even the point.

claiming that it is 'absolutely the right thing' to crusade against an entirely abstract 'harm' reeks of one who is "convinced of one's own righteousness especially in contrast with the actions and beliefs of others; narrow-mindedly moralistic" -- https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-righteous

I love this ui, even if it took me a few extra seconds to figure out. I prefer Drum and Bass for programming.

I see this posted more often here than on music forums. That said, it is a high quality mix selection.


This is the thing from then right?

has this been updated from the multiple times it's been posted the last 2-6 months?

Wow, I haven’t checked this out since the Com Truise release. Good to see it’s still going.

Tim Hecker!!

Hecker is magnificent

I usually listen to radio.garden, there are many stations on there that work for me.

15: Dan Adeyemi

who would be able to concentrate with that one?

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