Thinking Music

Today I’d like to share with you my “thinking music” playlist – music that has gotten me through hours of homework, studying, research, etc. It’s a mixture of film scores, ambient music, and more.

Cascade by William Basinski:

This is a wonderful example of simple electronic music that can be used for meditation. It’s quiet, understated, and long, but if you listen carefully you can hear the endless variations underneath the piano motif.

“Time” from Inception:

I adore this piece. Written by Hans Zimmer for the movie Inception, it starts with a simple chord progression. Then it builds and expands on those same chords before coming back down to the beginning simplicity.

“Cavendish Lab” from The Theory of Everything:

I talked about this a few weeks back in my post on this movie’s score by Jóhann Jóhannsson. It’s the perfect thinking music because it creates and stays in a beautiful world of calm. 

Aurora by Hans Zimmer:

Zimmer wrote this piece to commemorate the victims of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012. Not to get too sad here right now, but the shooting occurred in a movie theater that was playing The Dark Knight Rises, a film Zimmer scored, so Aurora is a choral arrangement of one of the musical themes from that movie.

Become Ocean by John Luther Adams:

With the seemingly static rise and fall of sound, Adams creates a work easy to study to. Check out my previous post on this piece here.

“Emma’s Song” from Once Upon a Time

I found this on YouTube one day and it has never left my thinking playlist since. It’s got the perfect blend of static and moving sounds with just the right amount of volume.

“He’s a Hero” from The Flash:

My favorite part of this piece is 0:30-1:24, where the piano has the theme. But overall, this piece is beautiful and introspective.

What music is on your thinking playlist?

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