What Are The Best Types Of Music For Concentration?

Photo: Armin Rimoldi

Anyone who is into music will know how influential it can be, and it is widely accepted that music can help with study and concentration. Although the type of music that works depends on the audience, there are a few golden rules you can follow to ensure you get the right effect from your music. Below are a few important rules and effective tips surrounding which different types of music and genres work best when you are concentrating.

3 important rules on selecting music for concentration

Whether you are looking for music to listen to in the office, or music to help you revise for your exams, there are a few things to look out for when it comes to making a music selection that will help boost your concentration:

  1. Avoid music with too many words, anything that will catch your ear and make you want to listen hard to hear the lyrics or sing along is sure to cause distraction.
  1. Don’t play music too loud. Music can be great for blocking out other distracting sounds, but that doesn’t mean you need to play it at full volume. For best results keep it low and play it through noise cancelling earphones or headphones.
  1. Listen to music that is not your absolute favourite or that you absolutely hate. Music can bring back powerful memories. So, try to avoid music that you have a strong emotional attachment to.

Types of music for studying that might work for you


If you’re wondering, ‘does music help with studying?’ and whether it can help improve concentration, then research on classical music suggests that it does! A study at Stanford University in 2007 showed that classical was the top genre of music effective for improved concentration. Finding the exact instrumental that works for you depends on your own preferences. A good place to start for many is classical music like Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. If those don’t work for you, why not look into some more contemporary artists like Philip Glass and Ludovico Einaudi.


For electronic music fans, you might want to start by trying a few ambient electronic, hip hop or low fi artists like Brian Eno or DJ Shadow. If you start to feel an energy dip, mix it up with some house, techno or other faster-paced dance music from the likes of Faithless, Leon Vynehall or Nina Kraviz.

Single instrument instrumentals

Another good option, is just to choose your favourite instrument and search for the best instrumentalists that focus on using it. One example could be Spanish guitar music for guitar-lovers as these melodic, upbeat rhythms can be great for keeping you going without causing distraction.


Most music lovers have a special place in their heart for at least one type of jazz music. When it comes to jazz music for concentration, what works best for you will depend on your personal preferences. However, smooth, melodic, calming jazz records are the best place to start. Those lengthy jam-style jazz tracks will keep your brain calm and, with a certain amount of random notes and chord changes thrown in, you can stay active and engaged in your work for far longer.

Progressive rock

While progressive rock like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Jefferson Airplane can be too distractingly psychedelic to help some people study, artists like these have a huge catalogue of music. So, before you dismiss all of your dad’s old 60s records, why not try a few out and see if it helps you? The long track-lengths, flowing instrumentals and uplifting, ambient sounds of some of these classic tunes could be ideal for your music for studying playlist.

Movie soundtracks

If you are still struggling to find the perfect music for helping you concentrate better, you could also try listening to your favourite film scores. Since most of these are likely to be instrumentals, they can be perfect for smooth listening that is not too distracting. Whether that’s Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars or classic movie-score artists like Hans Zimmer, there are a tonne of great genres to choose from when digging through your movie collection.