Reading Period Survival Guide: Music

Reading period.  The final days of the academic year have crept up and even though the end is near, the assignments seem to keep piling up.  Not to worry because BlogDailyHerald has compiled a list of ways to keep your head above water during finals period in the Ocean State.

If you can actually manage to concentrate while listening to music, this is an excellent way to maintain your sanity.  Try to listen to music that helps you work and keeps you excited and engaged in what you are doing.  In picking good study music, there are many paths you can take to increase your productivity and excitement while writing a 4,500 word essay on the Politics of Cranberries or cramming to finish every ENGN90 case from the entire semester. We list some of our favorites after the jump-just please…PLEASE, don’t be that person who plays music WAY too loud in the library.  There is nothing worse than having to hear the muffled hum of a Muse album when you’re working through an impossible calculus proof.


Yes, we go to a pretty good school.  No, Mozart is not going to  get you an A (unless you’re in a class on Mozart).  However, it can’t hurt either.  Classical music is a great way to feel smart, which might give you the confidence to do your best work.  Our recommendations: Arvo Pärt – Fratres or  Mozart’s Requiem (particularly fitting as your academic Dies Irae, better known as the Orgo final, approaches).


It gets you pumped without getting too complicated.  The lack of lyrics is a great attribute because you can hear yourself think, but the steady four-on-the-floor is key for on-track studying. Better yet, virtually all songs are longer than 6 minutes, which eliminates the distraction of rapid song changes. Our recommendations: Popof’s tech house hit “Blow Me Down (Original Mix)” and Beatport’s best-selling track of 2010, Pleasurekraft’s “Tarantula (Original Mix)”


Nothing says happiness like a good old retro beat. Some Motown perhaps? Or maybe some Now 5 to make you bop your head? The best part of throwbacks is the nostalgic element to each track – life was so easy in 9th grade when you would rock out to Evanescence  and Fall Out Boy alone in your room, or in 7th grade when, without fail, you would hear the same three songs at every Bar/Bat Mitzvah you attended.  Also, remember when you used to be into Ska?  That was weird.  Our recommendations: Third Eye Blind – “Jumper” or Spin Doctors – “Two Princes” (Remember how you always wished you knew the name to this song? Problem solved).

Top 40

One of the biggest goals of reading period is finding the little pieces of sanity in a world of frenzy. Whatever floats your boat, señor, is totally acceptable.  I have known quite a few music-snobs who have lost the battle to Lady Gaga during a moment of vulnerability.  If people can walk around naked and give you donuts (hopefully), then you can listen to “Paparazzi.” Our recommendations-  Adele- Rolling in the Deep or Katy Perry ft. Kanye West – “E.T.”


Say what you will about him on a personal level, but the guy produced the best album of 2010 – no questions asked.  On top of this, he also released an excellent 30 minute music video/film entitled Runaway. By now you are sure to be familiar with most of the songs, but the medley format provides a great musical dynamic to accompany your studies, despite the atrocious acting.  This is likely better for writing or problem sets than actual studying. Make sure to check out some of his older stuff also.


Now is as good a time as ever to hop on the Odd Future bandwagon.  They will provide the perfect abrasive musical outlet for the anger you are currently feeling towards a prof who thinks it’s OK to have a final AND a 10 page paper due during finals.  To get started, download Earl by Earl Sweatshirt and Bastard by Tyler, the Creator, but we’re warning you, this is not for the faint of heart.


Finally, for people who want to listen to music when they study but find it too distracting, we’ve got the answer and his name is Brian Eno. He may be most famous for producing for Bowie and U2, but Mr. Eno has made some great music himself that’s as ignorable as it is interesting. His “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” is a great introduction to this under-appreciated genre–it creates a sonic environment for studying without any of the distractions inherent in most popular music. As an added bonus, the songs go on forever (most pieces run 20-30 minutes). If you like Eno, check out glitch-ambient album Vrioon by Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Grab a pair of headphones and enjoy!


  1. pr3t3nt10u5

    FRATRES IS SO GREAT! had to post w/o reading the rest because i’m so excited. i heard it over the summer when i stumbled upon a rhode island philharmonic orchestra show and was converted to classical music.

    also there are a billion diff arrangements of it, all of which are beautiful in different ways.

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