Background Music While Working

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Background Music While Working 2013-01-12T15:23:37+00:00

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  • #118356
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    Bill
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    Post count: 227

    What are your thoughts about background music while working? Helpful or a distraction? If it is helpful, is it better if it’s:

    a) Fast / slow
    b) Vocals / instrumental
    c) Familiar / new
    d) Headphones / ambient
    e) Energizing / soothing

    I have never put on music while I worked, but enough of my colleagues do that I’m exploring this idea. I’d love to hear what works for you.

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    #118363
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Almost always! Depending on what I’m doing, I make my choice of music. For example, if I’m writing, I’ll usually pick something fairly quiet/ambient, just enough to cover distracting traffic noise or any other small stray sounds. If I’m in the shop, I usually have my ipod in the dock, but if I’m using the saws or other power tools I’ll put in earphones and listen. Any active work I’m doing, I’ll usually listen to something faster and more upbeat. I have playlists for different activities, mowing lawn, snowblowing, running, etc.

    In the office, I’ll usually use an online streaming service such as 8Tracks, Pandora, etc. That way I’m not spending my time choosing music, once the “stations” are set up. I like to listen to talk radio as well, but that’s not compatible with working, it’s an either/or attention thing, and I’ll usually pick the radio.

    If I’m alone at home doing housework (yeah, right! housework?!), I’ll usually pick some punk or rock and crank it up so I can hear it through most of the house.

    I also have several 2-way radios scanning, I’ve learned to generally tune them out unless I hear something that needs my attention. I grew up in a house that had a radio scanner in every room (including the bathroom), plus at least one mechanical clock in most rooms. My friends could never sleep over at my house, the clocks chiming would drive them nuts, I never even noticed them.

    Depends on what you do for work, I’ve found that with any more than 2 or 3 people, you’ll never find something to listen to that suits everyone. Headphones solve this if your job allows you to wear them. Generally earphones/headphones are a great thing for me to minimize distraction and help me stay on-task.

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    #118367
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    Patte Rosebank
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    Post count: 1517

    Well, I *did* find that singing along with the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack (blaring from my iPod dock) kept me focussed on completing my list of tasks when I was left blissfully alone in my parents’ house, the day before Christmas.

    Not only did I get all of the advance prep. done, but I also managed to do several tasks that weren’t on my list!

    So, this Christmas Day went amazingly well…right up until the spectacular crash & burn at the very end of it.  But until that crash & burn, it was the best Christmas Day we’d had in years!

     

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    #118369
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    Patte Rosebank
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    For background & mood music, I love “light classics” and vintage “production music”.

    These pieces are generally instrumental, with perhaps a bit of background vocals from a chorus of singers, and were specifically composed and arranged to convey a certain mood.  So, if you’re blue, there’s something to perk you up a little or a lot.  And, if you need to mellow out, there’s something for that, too.

    With production music, you can also get the happy surprise of discovering a piece that was used in a movie, TV show, cartoon, or radio show that you remember.   For example, “Windsor Frolic – Short Ending” was used as the theme for “Professor Kitzel”, a very low-budget educational cartoon series, that used to air on CFTO, in the 1970s.  And “Hero v. the Villain” was used as the theme for “Captain Fantastic” on the pre-Python series “Do Not Adjust Your Set”.

    Benny Hill used a lot of production music, and there’s a website that lists most of it, so you can go hunting for it, yourself.  (http://www.runstop.de/music08.html)  Last week, I heard a piece that Benny had used, being used to underscore one of the children’s in-studio segments on TVO.  To think that the same piece could be used to underscore smutty comedy on “Benny Hill”, and a sweet little educational segment for children!

    I often visit the website of KPM Music Group, which has a massive collection of production music.  You can browse & search their catalogue, and listen to the pieces of music online.  It’s quite a treasure hunt, and you never know what you’ll find!  (https://www1.playproductionmusic.com/pages/category_search/browse.cfm?libraryId=6)

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    #118372
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    We need a white paper- ‘The Use of Disco in the Treatment of ADHD’!

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    #118376
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    Patte Rosebank
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    Post count: 1517

    The weird thing is, I’m a showtunes & novelty songs girl.

    It’s very unusual that I would use disco (which, you may recall, was officially declared Dead in 1979).  I think it was the combination of the ridiculousness of it, with the driving beats, and the nostalgia blast of hearing the songs that I remember listening to on the radio when I was a kid.

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    #118389
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    kc5jck
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    Post count: 846

    I used to do a lot of drafting, ink on mylar, of boat plans.  I listened to Strauss waltzes as I drew.  I could not draw with Leon Redbone in the background.

    Irish drinking songs are good for cleaning house.

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    #118406
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    Patte Rosebank
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    Post count: 1517

    @kc5jck – Boats?  Cool!

    My parents have had a boat since I was 5.  My dad and brother have raced it, very successfully, for years.  And the more years they’ve spent doing that, the more Dad has become like Red Green.  He even has a regular crew member who’s known as “Old Man Sedgewick”!

     

    Hey! I just found the “People’s Court” theme, on that KPM production music website!

    It’s called “The Big One”.

    (Get your minds out of the gutter…)

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    #118413
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    Amy
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    Post count: 161

    I don’t do it now, but when I was in college, I used to study to fast techno music.  What was up with that??  LOL

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    #118416
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    @larynxa – I looked at that KPM website, and 5 hours later… some great music (by that I mean delightfully corny) there, browsed for quite a while (not quite 5 hours).

    @kc5jck – Actual drafting is a lost art these days, which is a shame. I’ve done lots of house designs that I still have, and fully intend to build someday. Never designed hulls, but I lived aboard my boat for a year, and would do it again in a heartbeat- nothing like it. I essentially rebuilt the boat from the hull up, on the water. Really loved designing and building the interior, all the curves and angles.

    My drafting teacher was the first person to explain the studies that showed that having lighter music on in the background actually improves work quality. That was before I could afford a Walkman, so I had two big stereo speakers mounted in the rafters over my table saw in my home shop. Just had to turn it up loud enough to hear over the saw and through my earplugs. I had a set of “isolation headphones” used by drummers, but I prefer to put in-ear phones on under a set of muffs now. I have excellent hearing, and have always protected it, even though noise is a huge distraction for me. What was the cartoon where the caterpillar was munching leaves and it was super-loud, think Donald Duck? That’s me, going nuts over noises that other people barely hear. If someone chews with their mouth open, or talks with food in their mouth, or chews ice; I will get up and walk away, because it drives me completely nuts.

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    #118434
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    ADDled
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    Post count: 121

    I listen to a variety of music when working, and with the iPhone, it’s easy enough to select the music you want to hear.  I found that listening to music helps keeps me more aware of the passage of time. and drowns out the noise from inconsiderate co-workers. And sometimes when I have those  intrusive thoughts rattling around in my head, crank up the volume drowns them out.

    But this is the really weird one, I especially like listening to First Nations pow-wow drum circle music. Talk about maintaining cognitive tempo! In a lot of cases, they sing in their original language, so being distracted by lyrics isn’t a problem, unless you speak Cree.

    Hope this helps.

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    #118682
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    Hopeful_in_Ontario
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    I really can’t have background music, etc on unless I’m only doing a mundane task, like cleaning. I like to think of things like letters, articles or presentations I’d like to work on, and music is too distracting. I find I only turn the radio on to listen to the news.

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    #119611
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    Liz
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    Post count: 5

    Just floating around the site and found this thread. See how you like working to coffee shop background noise! It’s plays for 10 minutes and then repeats…..for as long as you want it to. I can work for about 40 minutes and then it starts to bother me.

     

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