Photo By: Soundtrap from Unsplash

Let’s face it, studying can be an absolute drag. Sitting alone focusing in silence for extended periods of time can get dull rather quickly. Sometimes you need the right kind of music to add some ambience and bring a little life into the daily grind of being a student. 

Here are five songs you might want to try out the next time you’re on a study binge or just need something to ease the mood.

1. Brian Eno – “1/1”

One of music’s greatest innovators, Brian Eno, has a whole album called Music for Airports. It’s an ambient record with 15-minute plus songs that include meditative piano, subtle synths, and gentle symphonic choir keys. “1/1” is the first song and it is a relaxing 15 minutes of contemplative electronic music, a perfect length for studying in intervals. Don’t miss out on the whole project though, there’s plenty of other songs that will fit nicely as background music to a study session. 

2. C418 – “Subwoofer Lullaby” 

Yes, this is Minecraft music, and yes it is amazing for studying. Even if you aren’t a fan of the video game, the soundtrack has sort of taken on a life of its own as a solid collection of sweeping, melancholic electronic songs. Just check out the soundtrack on YouTube and you’ll see views in the millions and lots of positive interaction in the comments.  “Subwoofer Lullaby” is one of the more notorious tracks, and rightfully so, it’s mesmerizing and calming at the same time. This is a good choice for anyone looking to get some light work done but would like a bit more of an active song to enjoy at the same time. 

3. Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders – “Movement 7” (Featuring London Orchestra)

A more current song, “Movement 7” comes off the stellar collaborative album Promises featuring jazz fusion legend Pharoah Sanders, the famous London Symphony Orchestra and British electronic music producer Floating Points. Released in early 2021, from front to back this is a mind-melting third stream record – meaning a mixture of jazz and western classical music – that reaches a high point on “Movement 7.” One of the more fragile cuts off the LP, this nine-minute song foregrounds Sander’s soothing saxophone with fluttering electronic pulses and occasional melodic strings added to the mix. Definitely add this one to your study playlist, otherwise you’re missing out. 

4. Mort Garson – “Plantasia”

In 1976, a man made an album for plants to listen to. Mort Garson’s Mother Earth’s Plantasia is a strange listen, given that the intention was literally to make music for a plant store in Los Angeles. The album has gained somewhat of a cult following since its obscure release in the 70s and is actually a fantastic listen when one is engaged in work. If this music is made for something as sedentary as a plant, it should work great on a creature that’s a close second in terms of sedentariness: the university student. 

“Plantasia” is the opening track and definitely a highlight for its lullaby-ish qualities, just don’t fall asleep to this one. But no worries if you do, the bridge of this song should bring you back to consciousness to get more work done.

5. Nujabes – “Aruarian Dance”

More of a “hip hop beats to study/relax to” type of person? Well the whole YouTube genre of relaxing hip hop beats arguably got its inspiration from Japan’s greatest contribution to rap music in the form of Nujabes. If you ever watched the acclaimed anime series Samurai Champloo, you’ve already heard Nujabes’ famous mixture of pastoral Japan with hip hop. “Aruarian Dance” is a highlight from the show’s soundtrack which was produced, in part, by Nujabes. It’s a lovely lowkey instrumental that’s challenging to get tired of. Luckily there’s a 1-hour version of this song on YouTube, so throw it on and enjoy the smooth vibes of this talented producers’ unique sound while you get to work. 

Hopefully these gems can help you get through some midterm recovery or at the very least, offer you some new artists to add to your playlist.