There’s good news for anyone who likes to surround themselves with music at their desks: a study has shown that people who do listen to music at work are more productive. However, not all music inspires the thought process equally, so we gathered five suggestions that might just help you make it to quitting time.
1. Anything Bach
Citing the Workplace Doctors, the website Lifehacker suggests tuning into your baroque collection for some pleasurable listening while toiling away at daily duties. And who better than Bach — the most influential of all Western composers — to provide a daily soundtrack. His prodigious output alone would keep you well stocked with tunes for months. However, a good recording of the Brandenburg Concertos should get your creative juices flowing.
2. Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major
No composition in the classical cannon has been more tested to see its cognitive effects than Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D major. While listening to the pieces probably won’t make you any smarter, they do seem to inspire people to feel more able and more confident. And who are we to argue?
3. Steve Reich's The Cave
Let’s face it: Most of us are sitting around at our computers with our fingers flying over a keyboard all day. Thank goodness New York–based Steve Reich composed a piece just for this instance: Typing Music. The work, a percussion track created using an amplified keyboard, has been incorporated into Reich’s opera The Cave, which tells the story of Abraham from the Old Testament.
4.Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben
For inspiration on those tough tasks, it’s hard to beat Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Journey). The tone poem illustrates the protagonists tale as he encounters his adversaries, fights them in battle, emerges victorious and then retires as peace is restored. It’s a plotline that all workers can aspire to.
5.Magnus Lindburg's Kraft
The noise of the city can either be distracting, but its rhythms and energy are also invigorating. Magnus Lindberg’s seminal work Kraft taps into that power (Kraft does mean strength in German) of the industrialized metropolis. “The noise of traffic, or the demolition and construction of buildings all means something — and I wanted these elements to be present,” Lindberg told the New York Philharmonic, upon it’s 2010 New York premiere.