The sheer number of distractions in today’s world can be overwhelming to those of us who have a difficult time focusing on work or studies. From the electronic music blaring from your neighbor’s window to reminders being assigned to Alexa by family members to the endless ‘pings’ and ‘rings’ from half a dozen mobile phones in the house… it is no wonder that our thoughts get sidetracked often. Scientists had long ago discovered that certain genres of music have powerful effects on the brain—ranging from enhancing focus to inducing relaxation, and even sleep! The ambient sound generator that has become immensely popular in the last couple of years is an example of a device that uses brain music to put an individual to sleep.
Our brain releases dopamine, which contributes to feelings of pleasure, when listening to music. This generally tends to put us in a good mood. Additionally, music is also known to amplify our efficiency by increasing our productivity, and even sparking our creativity! Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, a psychologist, explains in her book,’ On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind’, that listening to music on loop helps greatly in improving one’s focus. If you can soldier through her dense, scholarly writing, you will be rewarded with this hitherto elusive truth about songs on repeat and the effect it has on our brain.
While nature sounds, classical music, electronic music or your very own music preference can all serve as brain music, one particular genre—classical music—has shown the best results. So, here are a bunch of tracks you might want to listen to the next time you find yourself unable to focus on the task at hand.
1. ‘Reverie’ by Claude Debussy: Contrary to the name of the song, Reverie has helped more people focus on what they are doing rather than daydream. The repetitive theme in the opening of this beautiful piano rendition will help you firmly center your mind where you want it to be.
2. ‘Serenade for Strings’ by Josef Suk: A pupil of Antonin Dvorak, one of the first composers in modern history to achieve worldwide recognition, Josef Suk composed ‘Serenade for Strings’ while studying at the Prague Conservatory. Funnily though, Dvorak identified an underlying melancholy in much of Suk’s work, and suggested he write something a tad more jolly, and thus, ‘Serenade for Strings’ was born.
3. ‘Pulcinella Suite’ by Igor Stravinsky: When the impresario Sergei Diaghilev commissioned a ballet on the Pulcinella stories from Italy, the task of orchestrating the music fell upon Igor Stravisnsky. The result is the much-loved ‘Pulcinella Suite’ for orchestra. This should be your go-to song when you face a slump. The initial momentum will match your insipid mood, but later on, you will feel a gradual elevation in your energy levels, and once the first round is over, you will be in the perfect mood to concentrate on whatever you want to.
WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg swears by the positive effects of playing his favorite song on repeat mode. Give these songs a shot and trust us, you will be searching for more classical music to play on repeat soon!