[TAG] Music whilst you work....
Benjamin A. Okopnik
ben at linuxgazette.net
Thu Jun 29 05:50:11 MSD 2006
On Wed, Jun 28, 2006 at 05:49:43PM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> I'm sat here currently editing two documents for inclusion in LG's SVN
> (as promised earlier), when it dauned on me, do any of you listen to any
> music whilst you're hacking/working on stuff, and do you have any
> particular music/bands you find better suited to the task?
Well, I'm a musical ignoramus compared to you, Mike, and Jimmy at least
- it was weirdly fascinating to see you guys discussing all these
groups I'd never heard of (hell, entire musical genres I'd never heard
of!) the last time, but I'm afraid I just don't speak the language.
Though I would certainly not mind learning it. I just have no idea of
where to even start.
Most times, I don't listen to anything at all when coding - well, except
the creaking noises my brain makes. However, if I actually think of it
before I start - rare as that may be - I do find music helpful... in
some strange way that I can't describe.
If I'm just cranking a short script, I want something fast and
aggressive; "The Best of Van Halen" (with "The Drill Song" on repeat for
a couple of loops) comes to mind. Southern rock will do, too: ZZ Top's
"Cheap Sunglasses", or almost anything by Molly Hatchett. I also have a
few odd favorites that could work: about half the tunes from the
"Blackhawk Down" soundtrack ("Hunger", "Barra Barra", "Mogadishu
Blues"), Green Day's "Brain Stew", Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole",
Bad Religion's "Punk Rock Song", and so on. Stevie Vai's "Paganini"
is an excellent example of that genre.
For code where I have to actually think :), light classical is right up
my alley. I also love Deva Premal's chants ("Gayatri Mantra", "Om Namo",
"Teyata"), which most people won't be familiar with; by the same token,
Master Charles's "Synchronicity" CD - which is just a progression of the
'Om' chant with the crashing waves in the background - rocks my world.
David McLauchlan's gorgeous piano work - whether "Everything I Do",
"Lady in Red", or "Sunset Serenade" - lets me just lose myself in what
I'm doing while it sneaks bits of beauty into my brain, unnoticed.
_Some_ of Elton John's "Live in Australia" can be wonderful, but
something like his "Take Me to the Pilot" would interrupt my train of
thought - not sure what makes the difference, there. Steven Cragg's
"Discovery" (didgeridu music) works well. Anything relaxing, in other
Strange contrast, now that I think about it.
> I myself have noticed that if I am programming I tend to listen to the
> following bands:
> Edgar Broughton Band
> Screaming Trees
> Patti Smith
Haven't heard of a single one, sorry. :\
> And if I am doing general stuff (such as emails, IRC):
> Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
> Incredible String Band
> Nick Drake
> Yo La Tengo
Ditto for these.
> The odd thing is that all of those bands I've grouped above have similar
> music styles -- maybe there's some unconscious psychological
> motivational aspect to them which makes me concentrate on a specific
> task? Mind you, as I am listening to "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter"
> (a fine album, btw) *anything* would be a better alternative. Heron
> and Williamson are insane. :P
Erm... well, *that's* never been a black mark against a musician. I
actually think it's seen as a plus, in most cases. :)
* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://linuxgazette.net *
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