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Power ranking: study music

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APRIL 13, 2017

Studying in silence is just about the saddest, most unfortunate activity known to man. Fortunately, we have music. Some melodies are better than others for studying and we at the Clog are here to help you figure out the perfect tunes to cram to. To find the ideal music, we’ve rated the tunes based on their focus power (the degree to which the music helps you focus) and enjoyableness to listen to.


Focus power: 8.5/10. Instrumental music can be a little distracting, especially because of the oscillations in different types of sound. The lack of vocals and calming quality of the music, however, contribute to its focusing power.

Enjoyableness: 9/10. Instrumental music is rife with complex melodies and rhythms that are pretty damn compelling. The artist Evolution of Stars produces especially pleasant music.

Total: 17.5/20


Focus power: 7/10. Jazz is renowned for its power to relax the human mind. It does get a little distracting, however (especially during those saxophone solos).

Enjoyableness: 9/10. The likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald exemplify the fact that jazz is an engaging music genre.

Total: 16/20

Chill electronic music

Focus power 7/10: Given the consistency of an electronically produced melody (and as long as you’re listening to the chill electronic music that doesn’t have lyrics), it’s pretty good at helping with focusing.

Enjoyableness: 8.5/10. Chill electronic may not be everyone’s taste, but with groups like ODESZA and artists like Kygo, it’s certainly quality stuff.

Total: 15.5/20

Psychedelic Music

Focus power: 9/10. It’s around the perfect amount of intellectually stimulating, even if its quirkiness can get somewhat distracting.

Enjoyableness: 6/10. It depends on the artist in question, but some psychedelic music can get a little funky. Artists like Talamasca and Shpongle make particularly enjoyable music.

Total: 15/20

White Noise

Focus power: 10/10. White noise is the holy grail of focusing power, which is probably due to the consistency of its intensity at different frequencies.

Enjoyableness: 5/10. It’s made for focus, not for pleasure.

Total: 15/20


Focus power: 5/10. Because the variety of sounds and contrasting melodies within a single piece are so pronounced, this music is distracting.

Enjoyableness: 8/10. Beethoven and Mozart are some pretty talented dudes.

Total: 13/20

Nature sounds

Focus power: 4/10. Somehow nature sounds are dull enough to bore you into a lull, yet erratic enough to distract you a couple of minutes later.

Enjoyableness: 3/10. If you want to listen to rain or the ocean all day, you could just move to Hawaii.

Total: 7/20

Not all study music is created equally. Next time you’re wondering what music to play while writing that essay, or if you just want a break from playing the same smooth jazz over and over again, we at the Clog have your back. Feel free to put on some good psychedelic tunes or instrumentals and let the creative juices flow.

Contact Melany Dillon at [email protected].

APRIL 13, 2017