Thursday, November 11, 2010

What music do you listen to while you study?

The Koinonia blog asked this question today. I admit that sometimes I will listen to music while I study. I can't listen to anything if I am doing new research or writing. I need to concentrate and the music becomes a distraction.

But if it is music that I know very well and there is no singing I can get away with it. This works well for when I am editing or doing mindless stuff like bibliographic work. Quite often I will listen to Pandora. I have a number of stations including Jim Birckman, Enya and other quieter type music.

But I also like to listen to Pink Floyd when I am translating. I have a CD that my brother-in-law made me. It is a compilation of only the extended instrumental sections of some classic Floyd songs. It lasts about two hours and is great for doing translation work. If my Judith translation in the CEB reads a bit odd at times you can blame it on Roger Waters and David Gilmour. I also think it is what forced one of my colleagues to move his office away from mine.

What about you? Can you listen to music while you study and if so who/what is your preferred artist or genre?


  1. I listen to Pandora too while I'm studying. Acoustic piano seems to work best--it's simple, without too much complexity and no vocals. As someone who really enjoys singing, listening to someone sing is really distracting. So it has to be a simple, gentle, restful type of music. I'd get bored with it in any other circumstance, but it works when I'm researching. The blander the better! But I do find that if I have no music, sometimes it's hard to focus on my work.

    Now housecleaning music is a different matter altogether!

  2. Pandora here, as well-- do we get a bonus? Free super-Pandora for a year? usually it is classical/ baroque. This has always been my default study music.

    Goodness knows, as a musical theologian that JS Bach guy really had it going on.

  3. I'm like you in that I find music to be distracting if I'm doing serious study. But other times, it's nice to have it in the background. And Pink Floyd is a good choice! (I'm listening to "Comfortably Numb" while I'm typing this)