How Electronic Music Can Improve Your Focus
Does studying or working with the accompaniment of music aid mental processes… or does it just serve as another distraction? This question has sparked a great deal of controversy over the years, and recently Entrepreneur.com has taken a stab at answering this age-old dispute for us. No matter if you are a desk jockey, manual laborer, or of a trade that requires creativity, monotony and boredom are inevitable forces that everyone must deal with. So, is utilizing the wonders of music to drown out habituation a productive strategy, or are you just actively impairing yourself? The article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of a wide-range of musical genres, but we are most interested by what the electronic music genre has to offer.

The article states that ‘in electronic music, “ambient electronica”—and its sub-genres of chill-out, downtempo, ambient house, and far too many others—all tend to fit our need for ‘present but unobtrusive.’’ According to studies, ambient presence of music comprised of moderate sounds can truly stimulate creativity, and help you bust out of those dreaded ‘writer’s blocks.’ To find this creative sweet spot, so to speak, try to aim for medium sounds, avoiding the super lows, and the crazy highs. Although those booming 808s, and or high-pitched synths may do the trick in the gym, productivity and work favor softer/mellower sounds.

The article also touches on the repetitive nature of these specific electronic music genres.

This genre also tends to be repetitive, in a good way.

Unlike all of the ups and downs of a symphonic piece, there are quite a few producers out there who aim to create ‘soundscapes’ (anyone remember Gabe from The Office?) that focus on a few melodies that repeat and build on each other.

The song’s focus will help your focus, as the repeating tones are nice to have going in the background.

It is said that when listening to something familiar, or a piece lacking any type of ‘roller-coaster-esque’ dynamic, it can actually aid you in reaching that desired level of laser focus. When you are listening to new music, or music with sudden twists and turns, you will be more inclined to listen closely, rather than focus on the task at hand. On a relevant note, music with lyrics can also be damaging when performing immersive tasks. Even if the lyrics are familiar, by intaking words the language center of your brain is activated, which can be destructive to focus especially when performing language-based tasks (ie. writing).

By analyzing the different musical factors that can bolster productivity, it is apparent that many downtempo/chill-out sub-genres of electronic music posses the desired traits. By offering a consistent, mellow-toned, and lyric-less soundscape, electronic music can actually improve performance in immersive tasks, while providing a similar boost during repetitive tasks-through increased happiness and efficiency. So next time you are crafting a playlist, whether it be to break out of a mid-day lull or for a creative boost, take these factors into serious consideration. For more information, and analysis on other musical genres check out the full article on Entrepreneur.com.

H/T: Entrepreneur.com


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