Think better with music! 60 songs to learn and study

Classical music

When thinking of music to work with, various works of classical music quickly come to mind. Symphonies, sonatas, concertos and other classical genres provide an excellent basis for guiding your thoughts in the right direction. The music takes its time, it takes the listener on an acoustic journey, especially when it comes to program music.

The tones are connected to non-musical aspects such as images or nature. Well-known examples are “The Moldau” by Bedrich Smetana or “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be program music in order to be able to listen to it while working, because the abstract aspects of so-called serious music also bring the brain an advantage in learning that can hardly be put into words.

  • Bedrich Smetana – The Moldau
  • Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons
  • Gustav Mahler – 5th Symphony: IV. Adagietto
  • Claude Debussy-Claire de Lune
  • Franz Liszt – 3 Love Dreams p. 541: no. 3 In A Flat Major
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff – Vocalise, Op. 34 no. 14
  • Joseph Haydn – Cello Concerto In C, H.Vllb:1: 2. Adagio
  • Frederic Chopin – Nocturne No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 9 no. 2
  • Antonin Dvorak – Cello Concerto In Bb Minor, Op. 104, B. 191: 1. Allegro
  • Robert Schumann – 3 Romances, Op. 94: no. 2 Simple, intimate


Aside from classical music (the boundaries are notoriously fluid here), the sound of a piano is of great use when working. It doesn’t matter whether it’s jazz, pop music or another variety: the piano has an effect. Many filigree masters have proven over the years that it is anything but one-dimensional. Recently, musicians have been pushing its boundaries again and again.

The Grandbrothers, for example, a duo who met at the music academy in Düsseldorf, inspire with their own approach. Erol Sarp plays the keys as usual, while Lukas Vogel loops, adds effects and rhythms to the sounds created by lots of little hammers mounted on the strings and other parts of the piano. The origin of every sound always remains the piano. In this list they line up alongside artists such as Keith Jarrett, Nils Frahm and the young New Zealander Levi Patel.

  • Keith Jarrett – I Loves You Porgy
  • Grandbrothers – Ezra Was Right
  • Nils Frahm – My Friend The Forest
  • Max Richter – A Catalog Of Afternoons
  • Levi Patel – With Wings Falling
  • Jonsi – Around Us (Go Quiet Version)
  • Goldmund-Threnody
  • Barcelona – Alex Kozobolis
  • Helene Roche—Veracity
  • Tell Me A Story Chad Lawson

Electronic music

Similar to classical music, electronic songs often only unfold over a longer period of time, which makes them ideal for listening while working and concentrating. It’s not about getting to one as soon as possible catchy to get the chorus and keep listeners engaged so that a stream is counted as a stream from the 31st second and earns money.

The term electronic music is of course very broad and encompasses a variety of sub-genres, characteristics and styles. Jon Hopkins, for example, is a master of innovative and catchy electronic music. Of course, it cannot be missing from the following list when it comes to focussing music. Also present: Moderat, Ólafur Arnalds and the exciting German project The Road Up North.

  • Jon Hopkins—Immunity
  • Moderate – This Time
  • Olafur Arnalds—Ypsilon
  • Dusty Kid-America
  • The Road Up North—That We Are
  • Bonobo – migration
  • Boards Of Canada – Reach For The Dead
  • Four Tet – Lush
  • Brian Eno – Signals
  • Kiasmos—Blurred

acoustic guitar

Hardly any other instrument is able to develop such a calming effect on the listener as the acoustic guitar – regardless of whether it is a western guitar or a classical concert guitar. Accompanied by smooth voices and minimal, if any, arrangements, it makes a list of the most appropriate songs to work with. From the wealth of possible contenders, great artists like José Gonzalez, Bon Iver and Fink finally made it in.

  • José González – Cycling Trivialities
  • Bon Iver – re:stacks
  • Iron & Wine – Naked As We Came
  • William Fitzsimmons – Falling On My Sword
  • City and Color—Comin’ Home
  • Kings Of Convenience – Mrs. Cold
  • Ben Howard – Promise
  • Fink—Sort Of Revolution
  • Death Cab For Cutie – I Will Follow You Into The Dark
  • The Tallest Man On Earth – Love Is All


In cinema, soundtracks have a massive impact on how something that happens on screen is perceived. They amplify or soften what we see – and in the same way they can also be helpful in studying, working and concentrating. There are many legendary scores, which does not make it any easier to decide whether they are suitable as an accompaniment to thinking.

With his grandiose musical accompaniment, Nico Muhly made his contribution to the fact that the film adaptation of Bernhard Schlink’s “The Reader” was such a hit. So it can’t be missing here. Hans Zimmer, John Williams and Alexandre Desplat are also there.

  • Nico Muhly – Who Was She? (The Reader)
  • Hans Zimmer – Time (Inception)
  • John Williams – Theme From Schindler’s List
  • Ludovico Enaudi – Una Mattina
  • Gabriel Yared – Ada Plays (Cold Mountain)
  • Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks Theme (Twin Peaks)
  • David Arnold, Michael Price – Addicted To A Certain Lifestyle (Sherlock)
  • Alexandre Desplat – Aggression (The Danish Girl)
  • Thomas Newman – A Good Dose (The Good German)
  • John Lunn – A Mother’s Love (Downtown Abbey)

post rock

If there is one sub-genre of rock music that can be conducive to concentration in study and study, it is post-rock. Often long and instrumental songs that get out of hand and carefully build up their “story”. They find their end in a place that is completely different from where the journey began.

The post-rock niche undoubtedly knows its big heroes like Mogwai, Russian Circles and Sigur Rós, but also smaller bands like Frames are in no way inferior to them in musical storytelling, which all qualifies them in the list of the best post-rock -Songs to be performed to focus on.

  • Last Lungs – Now Against The Staircase
  • Caspian – Sad Heart Of Mine
  • Explosions In The Sky – Your Hand In Mine
  • Tides Of Man—Young And Courageous
  • Sigur Ros – Hoppipolla
  • Frames—Departure
  • Sleepmakewaves – It’s Cold, It’s Dark, It’s Winter
  • This Will Destroy You – The Mighty Rio Grande
  • Mogwai – Kids Will Be Skeletons
  • Russian Circles – Campaign

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