With exams in full swing, it’s more important than ever to buckle down and study. But as the wondrous freedom of summer gets closer, it tends to get harder and harder to concentrate. This is where good study music comes in. Most of us will have a set playlist of songs we love, music that has been with us through thick and thin, and yet, these songs tend to betray us in our time of need. This is because, as neuroscientist Alan Harvey so eloquently said during WritingWA’s Quantum Words festival, “When you like music it’s second nature to tap or nod along to it”. When we listen to the music we love while we study, we are most likely to get distracted and end up focusing more on our music than the words swimming in front of us.
Enter LoFi music—a genre of music that is quickly growing in popularity. LoFi comes from the term “low fidelity”, implying an imperfection to the tracks. Lofi can be traced back to the 1950s and originated from sounds that were regarded as imperfect during normal recording sessions. These would be things such as misplayed notes, environmental interference, tape hisses or degraded audio signals. This imperfection or ‘low quality’ is a big part of the style and aesthetic of the music. The songs are simplistic, calm and often loop a variety of samples—whether acoustic or melodic. In other words, it’s perfect background music to help with concentration.
According to Hyde.edu, when you play LoFi, “the brain picks out the differences in sound and in turn helps it get into a mindset of focus”. On top of this, there are usually very few vocals—if any—, so the distractions are brought down to a bare minimum. A survey conducted by Hyde.edu, found that students who listened to LoFi music reported an 86% increase in productivity, so with the last few weeks of study left, why not give it a try?
We compiled a playlist of some LoFi music to give you a head start, though you can easily find other compilations/playlists of LoFi music on Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube.