As programming becomes more and more mainstream, I’m sure there will be a need for more lifestyle ideas in this space. You can consider this article as one of them.
I’d like to share some of the music ideas that I was able to gather for anyone who wants to explore music for coding. I can almost promise you, you will never run out of music ideas when coding after reading this extensive article.
I say coding but I can imagine a broad range of professionals benefiting from these ideas such as financiers, quants, doctors, research analysts, scientists, business developers, accountants, entrepreneurs, IB analysts, designers, engineers. etc.
Obviously, music taste can be personal. But here are some tracks that will likely inspire most tech oriented people. You can also use some of the other tracks for relaxation or uplifting your mood as well as just plain vanilla concentration. Music really does help and is known to have an effect on the brain.
The list will be as diversified as possible but it’s impossible to cover everything. I think it’s really distracting to listen to music with lyrics while doing creative or technical work which coding usually is both of those.
Synthwave and Cyberpunk (Space & AI Vibes)
These incredible futuristic tracks are guaranteed to wake up the deadest coder spirit inside you.
Carbon Based Lifeforms – Derelicts Incredible for programming
Bunsen Burner – Ex Machina (2015) Wow.. Just wow.
Illum Sphere – Sleeprunner (2013) Legend.
Solar Fields – Insum (2005)
Rob Dougan – Clubbed To Death – Oh yeah. Give me some Matrix.
Mega Drive – Converter
Moby – Extreme Ways
Lost Years – Converter
Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow – Ava
Deadmau5 – Alone With You
The Midnight – Nocturnal
FatboySlim – Right Here Right Now
Lorn – Acid Rain
Mega Drive – Dataline
The Martian OST – Work The Problem
Cliff Martinez – First Sleep
Dying Light – Horizon
Germind – Consciousness
Mr. Robot – Soundtracks
The Social Network – Soundtrack OST
Blade Runner 2049 – Soundtracks OST
Inception – Soundtracks
Altered Carbon – Soundtracks
Dystopia – A Synthwave Mix – Another Masterpiece
Gone Girl – Ambient Mix
Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch – Sea Wall Extended (Long)
Drive – Soundtrack OST – Hella Cool
Ad Astra – Soundtracks
System Shock 2 – Engineering
TimeCop1983 – It was only a dream
Deus Ex – Highland Park Ambient
Mirror’s Edge – Kate
Game Soundtracks (Best kind of nostalgia ever)
Look, if you’re a 90s kid or a millenial or a Gen-Z, chances are high that you’ve played with fantastic soundtracks.
Furthermore, game music is usually specifically oriented to make you concentrate on missions, so they are perfect for flow state, they have that hypnotic quality.
If you’re looking for game soundtrack from 70s or 80s, that’s a pretty premature era for game music and I’m not sure if anyone would like to listen to 8-bit Super Mario music for hours. However, even for that there might be some options 😉
Here is a fabulous list to lift your spirit up without distracting you. Subconscious and uplifting designed for concentration. Best combination ever so you can focus on creative work.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Trailer Soundtrack – Really great.
Fifa 98 – Blur
France 98 – Tubthumping
Fifa 2002 – Gorillaz
Fifa 2010 – Wavin’ Flag
Half Life 2 – CP Violation
Need for Speed 1 – Get Low
Need for Speed 2- Riders On the Storm
Rollcage – Soundtrack OST
Simcity Soundtrack OST – Perfect tunes to exist to.
Hotline Miami – Soundtrack Playlist: Really nice. I mean mad cool!
Assassin’s Creed Revelations – Soundtrack OST: This has really really cool medieval vibes.
Civilization – Soundtrack OST
The Witcher 3 – Soundtrack OST: kindda emotional
Portal – Self Esteem Fund
GTA V – Soundtrack Playlist: West Coast Heist Vibes. Good thing you chose a legal hustle in real life.
Way Older Games: Chiptune Music (8-bit, 16-bit music, Retro Samples): If you really insist in listening to this we won’t stop you either. You do you.
Attention: Some of these tunes are entering the lyrical music territory so that sort of conflicts with the logic we previously presented. However, most of them still have no or very little lyrics and, few of them are extremely uplifting and nostalgic despite the lyrics. So we decided to include a couple like that anyway.
Jazz Cafe (Easy, modern tunes)
Chill Hop & Lo-fi (Cool kid music)
If you’re a hip hop fan you might crave for a nice track and it’s great but before you know it you might be checking out lyrics and background stories and then binge watching Tupac – Biggie documentaries on Netflix and coding progress will take a hit. (no pun intended)
But there is Chill hop. This genre has crazy cool hiphop vibes and they might take you to a New York park while you’re coding, again without distraction!
Here are a couple of fantastic channels that stream a lot. But feel free to do your own Youtube search.
Note: If you’re new to Chillhop and Lofi, the mood can vary a lot in these genres so if it’s a sleepy tune make sure to mix things up and find an upbeat track or stream just in case you have a hard time staying awake.
Darkwave, Dark Synth, Postpunk, Goth, Coldwave (Dark Music)
Dark Tunes can be inspiring too depending on the mood/timing. It’s good to mix things up anyway. There are different genres with subtle or big differences. Here are some very original alternatives, get ready for some bizarre stuff:
World Music with lyrics (Oh, but wait!)
Here is another creative idea.
If the lyrics are in a language you find cool but don’t understand well or at all then it will just blend in with the music yet you will still feel the presence of another human being.
Coding can be lonely. Which is why you might prefer music with lyrics which can be distracting in your native tongue. Listening in a language you like but don’t really understand can give you comfort and help you focus at the same time!
For English speakers: (in no order, shout-out to all of our visitors from every single country in the world).
Also, excuse us if we made a cheesy selection for your country this is merely just to give people some ideas.
Latin Music: Buenos Vista Social Club
Indian Music: Old Hindi Collection (Super cool Himalaya vibes)
French Music: Noir Desir
Israel: Ishay Ribo
Bollywood: Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik (They seem in love, lol)
Algerian: Cheb Mami
Korean: JYP Entertainment
Arabic: Amr Diab
African Vibes: Zamina (catchiest song ever!)
Mongolia: Traditional Throat Singing
Note: If you’re reading this page through translation you may also wanna opt in for music with English lyrics and not find it distracting.
Ambient - Lounge (Elevator Music)
You wouldn’t listen elevator music in a concert but it turns out to be pretty zen in certain occasions, such as, riding the elevator and maybe through concentrated work like coding. It brings hours of bliss and not a single vocal.
If you still run out of ideas after this list, you can always refer to
- Contemporary Classical,
- Tribal Tunes etc.
Alright. That’s it! We hope you liked the list and took away some new ideas. Focused work is exponentially fruitful. And well chosen music can increase your stamina and focus. Just because something’s labeled study music or coding music doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for that purpose for everyone. So this list should help you decide for your own coding, studying or work music.
Enjoy yourself! While coding. 🙂