According to a study performed by researchers at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD, Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, MD, and the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, PA., classical music can improve your concentration and improve IQ. Not just any classical music though, it must be from the Baroque period.
Although the term ‘Baroque’ was long thought to be applied to architecture, in fact it appears earlier in reference to music, in an anonymous, satirical review of the première in October 1733 of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734. The critic implied that the novelty in this opera was “du barocque,” complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was filled with unremitting dissonances, constantly changed key and meter, and speedily ran through every compositional device.
In layman’s term, Baroque music has a distinct style of not having a fixed key or tone, nonparallel melodies and contrasting styles at times. Even at its time, Baroque was already considered to be unorthodox and is not fully appreciated, even to this day.
But let me tell you, even modern-day music can achieve such a result of helping in concentration. No, I’m talking about pop numbers that follow age-old pattern of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus nor the drum-heavy rock/metal music. I don’t have any scientific papers to support my argument but I’ve experienced it before and I realized some anime music, J-pop to be exact, can really help concentration during studying. I’m not to sure whether or not it can increase IQ but I realize that some of these Japanese music have some similar traits as Baroque music. So, if you’re looking for alternatives, maybe you can try it out.
To pump up the atmosphere and get the adrenaline flowing, I recommend listening to any of these three songs quietly before doing anything. Emptying your mind and just listening to these songs can really help in increasing efficiency when you start. Think of it as warm-up. No, this has nothing to do with Baroque music, you can choose to skip these but I recommend listening to these first if you’re feeling unmotivated or bored.
There are a few significant traits of Baroque that helps concentration. One, the repetitive and non-parallel melody. Take for example, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, you can clearly hear the melody and the song pretty much repeats it with just minor variations. Here are few songs that personifies that trait.
Jazz can also serve as a great alternative. Not just any jazz number though, so take note.
Secondly, the contrasting key and styles can be a major factor as to why Baroque music helps concentration and boost brain capabilities in terms of problem solving and challenges selective attention. Here are some.
Thirdly, somehow I can’t explain it but when you listen to some songs, you can easily enter the optimal condition to study and absorb new things. Eight radiologists participated in the above mentioned study, who listened to Baroque music while working and rated their mood, concentration, perceived diagnostic accuracy, productivity and work satisfaction on a seven point scale. “The greatest positive effects were noted with regard to mood and work satisfaction, with 63% and 50% of respondents reporting a positive impact,” said Sohaib Mohiuddin, MD, and Paras Lakhani, MD, lead authors of the study. “No participants indicated a negative effect on mood, perceived diagnostic accuracy, productivity or work satisfaction. Only one participant (12.5%) indicated a negative effect of music on concentration,” they said.
I personally call it the Zone, in which people can focus completely on what they do and not get distracted easily. Even if they do get distracted, they quickly come back to what’s important instead of lingering all over the place. Here are some songs that gets me in the Zone.
There you have it. This list of songs is directed at the public in general, and not taking into account any community out there. So, if it doesn’t work for you, then tough luck. But if it does, then congrats!
If you like more anime music, please visit my page Music Archive to look for more.
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