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6 Amazing Music Genres for Coding & Concentration

Nov 24, 2022 by Florian

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This post shows you 6 music genres that are great for focused work like programming. Links to example tracks for each genre are included.

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Most programmers like to have something in their ears while coding. Either to drown out annoying background noises or simply to reduce boredom. The right music can increase our mood and motivation, reduce stress and keep us motivated for longer.

However, for cognitively demanding tasks, like coding, it's important that the music is not distracting. It shouldn't have any lyrics and no jarring changes in loudness or speed. We also shouldn't have to interrupt our work to switch tracks every couple of minutes, so longer mixes are better.

In this blog post, I tell you 6 terrific music genres that make great coding and focus music. The title of every section is a link to an example track. They're all longer mixes so you can just turn them on and focus on your work. Check them out and see which ones you like the most!

Tip: Get some noise-canceling headphones so you can listen to the music on a low volume and keep it non-distracting.

White/Brown Noise

I'll start this list with something that's not actually music, but a static sound. While music can enhance your mood and motivation, I still find it at least a little bit distracting. Whenever I need to be 100% concentrated, like when I work on a critical piece of code, I use Brown noise instead.

Brown noise is a type of signal noise. You probably know "white noise", which is that static sound you can hear on old televisions when they're not receiving a signal. Brown noise is very similar, but it focuses on lower frequencies, which makes it sound softer.

The cool thing about Brown noise is that it basically disappears from consciousness after a while. You can turn it quite loud to drown out any annoying environmental sounds and then just ignore it. This way, it's possible to create a sense of silence even in noisy places. It kept me sane when my neighbor was doing heavy construction work for months right in front of my window.

I recommend that you download the full 8-hour long Youtube video from the link above to save bandwidth when you play it repeatedly.

If you find Brown noise too boring but don't want to listen to music, you can try out ambient sounds like It has a similar tone to it, but uses natural sounds like rain and thunder.

Video Game Soundtracks

Right after Brown noise, my favorite music genre to listen to while coding is video game soundtracks. Think about it; video game music is specifically designed to not be distracting. It's supposed to only provide a background ambient while you think and solve problems in the game. You can harness this feature when you try to solve problems in real life too.

Listening to video game music puts me in a good mood immediately. Most of us enjoy playing video games or at least used to play them as children. That's why listening to these soundtracks quickly invokes feelings of nostalgia, joy, and even motivation.

There are countless compilations of video game soundtracks on YouTube. I linked one of them above. Check it out and see how you like it!

Relaxing Jazz

Slow and calm Jazz can be another terrific choice for music to work to. There are many "work jazz" mixes on YouTube that are non-distracting and have a very happy and relaxing mood to them. The track I linked above combines Jazz music with subtle ambient and rain sounds, which makes it even more relaxing and drowns out additional background noise. It's especially comforting when you feel stressed from the work you're doing.


Another one of my personal favorites.

Synthwave (also called retrowave or futuresynth) is a type of electronic music that conveys a feeling of retrofuturism in it. It uses instruments like synthesizers that make it sounds like it was made in the 1980s, but it's actually a pretty new genre. The Youtube videos of these mixes often show elements of the past (like old supercars) together with futuristic scenery, like high-tech cities that don't even exist yet. It's very comforting and creates an odd nostalgic feeling that instantly makes me happy. It also makes for great working and coding music because it's primarily instrumental.

Lo-Fi Hip Hop

Lo-Fi (short for low fidelity) hip hop is another type of calm chill-out music. Even though it has the name "hip hop" in it, it usually doesn't contain any lyrics and focuses on more chill beats that are non-distracting and very calming.

The link above brings you to a live stream on the Lofi Girl Youtube channel which played a big role in popularizing this genre over the last couple of years. You can just turn it on and enjoy music for hours on end, without having to worry about selecting tracks.

Classical Music

If you enjoy piano music and older instruments, you might want to give classical music a try. It's another popular choice for work music because it's mainly instrumental. Some pieces are more relaxing, and some are more powerful and motivating. Some people even claim that listening to classical music makes you smarter.


In this post, I gave you my top music genres for coding and other kinds of concentrated work. Listening to the right music can boost your motivation, happiness, and even your concentration by blocking out distracting background noise.

Whenever you need 100% focus, I recommend that you switch to static noises like Brown noise or rain sounds (links in the article above), which disappear from consciousness after a while.

What's your favorite music genre for focus and coding? Do you have any secret tips? Let me know in the comments below!

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