The Big Question: Music At Work

Over the last few days I've been listening to those "science" curated playlists: ones supposedly designed to make you more creative, more productive, that sort of thing.

Up until that point, however, I was a big fan of electronic dance music.

The logic, at least in my head, was that the pace of the music would wake me up a little and help make me a little productive. Tracks that didn't contain lyrics would also stop my brain from wandering or getting distracted by language, which is helpful when you're trying to organise your own thoughts for an article.

I developed the habit working midnight shifts, back when my job was to summarise newspapers and read through page after page of monotonous drivel.

What music do you listen to on a daily basis, and what do you listen to when you're at work?


    Only listen to music at the gym. I simply can't concentrate at work listening to anything. people think I'm weird. Maybe I am.

    I used to listen to music at work, and still occasionally do.

    Mostly 90s hiphop. Wu-Tang, Digable Planets, Bone Thugs, Binary Star. Sometimes old school funk and soul.

    Nowadays, it's audiobooks. I've recently listened to all the Frank Herbert Dune books and a fair few Neal Stephenson books. Also Gene Wolfe Shadow of the Torturer.

      Damnit, now I have to add more stuff to spotify. I was more NWA, Public Enemy, and Beastie Boys, but Wu-Tang and Bone Thugs would definitely mix in well.

        Judging by your tastes, add Mobb Deep to that. Never could get into west coast rap. I felt the east coast were the finer poets.

        I still listen to things like GZA's Fame and am in awe.

        Im partial to the slickly produced southern rap too. Goodie Mob, Outcast, Deltron. Rare collabos like Dungeon Family. Cunninlinguists is great too for its unique blend of rap and pop.

          Will check em out. I'm not really biased to any in particular, I grew up listening to pretty much anything, from opera to ACDC, so my tastes are eclectic - its a family thing. Basically, if I like it, I'll listen to it.

          It was more that the West Coast stuff was just what happened to hit around the time I turned 18, which meant PE and NWA at their peaks. But by the time acts like Wu Tang, and Mobb Deep took off I'd sorta moved on a bit from gangsta rap.

          Its only in the last few years I've gotten back to listening to the raw stuff of that era, and always happy to check something out.

    A family friend uses Marconi Union - Weightless for her Calm Birthing classes.... It didn't do me any harm.

    For reference:
    On 16 October 2011, Marconi Union created an eight-minute track, titled "Weightless", in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy.

    According to scientists at the Mindlab institution (a commercial 'neuromarketing' company) it induced a 65% reduction in overall anxiety and brought test subjects' resting pulse rates to 35% of their usual resting rates. The song features guitar, piano and manipulated field recordings. It is punctuated throughout by low tones that supposedly induce a trance-like state. This piece propelled the band into the media spotlight and news reports, and was reported in newspapers worldwide.

    In November 2011, Marconi Union were featured in Time magazine's list of Inventors of the Year, for writing and recording "Weightless".

    Despite this, Marconi Union have consistently refused to be drawn into any debate about the scientific findings, preferring to discuss "Weightless" in purely aesthetic terms.

    I have a bunch of weird playlists but my favourites are usually game soundtracks -- Mass Effect (trilogy) and Horizon Zero Dawn are both fantastic.

    Don't listen to much music at work anymore. Used to spend time scouting around for new stuff on Spotify and then falling back to old faves like Beck, Ween, QOTSA, Tribe Called Quest, J. Dilla.
    Mainly listen to podcasts nowadays.

    We've been told we can only use one ear bud while listening to music/audio at work as it's a "work health and safety issue." Which in an open office means it can be very hard to concentrate at times. As a result I never listen to anything at work anymore, as whatever comes out of the headphones adds to the overall sound levels, rather than replaces whatever I'm trying to ignore with something better.

    I listen to game and movie soundtracks a lot - The Last of Us, Command & Conquer, Prisoners, Arrival etc.

    Also a few playlists I've made on my phone. Folksy music, Johnny Cash etc.

    I used to listen to game soundtracks for productive time, but then I switched to vaporwave and haven't looked back - there's something for every project and mood, and even the best stuff gets out of the way when it has to.

    At home it's the music of computer fans and clicking of mechanical hard drives.

    At work it's the 5 same songs and nonstop ads coming to you live from Brisbane's B105.

    Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You has become my frontal lobe, slowly spreading to my temporal lobe.

      Great track. Eraser is my fave on his new album.

    I have music of all kinds of genres and styles from lots of artists loaded up in Winamp (yep, I still use it) at work. Depends on my mood as to what I listen to.

    A fun one for work though? The original score from Skyrim. Nearly 3 hours of fantastic background music.

    I have a general rule that if I'm dealing with numbers, I'm listening to something with words, if I'm dealing with words, something more ambient. Film/game scores work quite well.

    I listen to the same kind of music whether I'm at home, work or on the move. Mostly it's game soundtracks, but there's also a large amount of electronic music, metal (mainly Kamelot and Nightwish), and a variety of albums from bandcamp by artists I like. I'm also not ashamed to say I have a bunch of Hatsune Miku/vocaloid albums.

    at work i listen to podcasts, rock on spotify and standup comedy.
    The alternative is listening to the work radio which is dialed to Koffee or Double J which play absolute shite drivel.

    Classical music or fallout tunes when I'm working or studying.
    70s and 80s rock or K Pop when cleaning
    Metal when playing battlefield

    I work in an open plan office so I need headphones to cancel out the background chatter. I'll usually listen to stuff with a quick beat like Metallica, Dio, Joe Satriani, etc when super busy, while I'll listen to something more laid back like Jamiroquai or The Cure when just cruising through work.

    To and from work is pretty much the only place I have pure control over my music, usually gaming soundtracks on spotify/youtube or podcasts.

    As far as work itself, my last 3 jobs have all been when I have little to no control.
    -Luna Park where I worked on the carnival games, my soundtrack was the Tango Train's speakers and the guy who ran it at the time kept playing this one short compilation of mid 2000's R'n'b/hip hop, I developed a seething hatred for Usher's "Yeah" after hearing it blasted at me at least 10 times a day, except for one day where a fellow gamer filled in and he had OCRemixes of Zelda tunes all day.

    -Next it was EB and those hour long DVD store loops get old FAST. One particular incident was when the PSP was coming, we had a loop stay on for 2 months, then finally we got a new one and one of the songs had, no joke, sounds of people having sex near the end, so we had to go back to the PSP one for another month. I'm pretty sure at the time the people making these loop DVDs just grabbed a Ministry of Sound compilation and just slapped it on the footage.

    -I'm at JB now and it's a lot better, but there's sometimes some internal politics over who gets to choose the main music and some albums get played to absolute death, also it doesn't help when several departments are playing their own music too and my section happens to be where it all collides to create pure cacophony.

    I think I might just get a job at a library or something

    The 'Daft Punk - Tron soundtrack' is a great one for work. Other than that I often listen to ambient rain or beach tracks - helps keep me calm and drown out other peoples phone calls.

    Currently listening to 'Triple J's Hottest 100 of all time' for something different.

    Nil. The only time I listen to music is when I'm driving. Then 90% of the time it's Judas Priest, though sometimes when I get to the end of the discography I'll chuck on the de Blob soundtracks or F-Zero X Guitar Arrange Edition for a change, or sometimes there's some OCRemix stuff there from when I used to keep an eye on releases there.

    I'm bad at music.

    I listen to talk radio at work.

    The combination of rolling news and dick head callers keeps me awake during menial tasks.

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