Sunday, May 11, 2008

Monteverdi for working


When I'm working, I often like to have some music playing. Nothing too over the top. Most often on a pair of headphones (Sennheiser P100 foldables that go with me wherever the laptop is) so as not to disturb others around me. What I've found, is that for the sake of concentrating on what I'm doing, it helps not to have too much of a strong lyrical or story telling set of music around - particularly if I'm programming, working or concentrating hard on a particular activity.

For quite a while the favourite "working music" has been some type of Baroque music - most often played on original instruments. For quite a while it would inevitably be Bach - most likely one of the Cantatas. Recently it's been Monteverdi. Often the Vespers (Vespro della Beata Vergine - see Monteverdi Vespers for more info), but sometimes other religious motets or one of his Masses.

Although it would seem that my selection seems to be religious in nature, however I don't think that that fact is particularly important. I think it more tends to reflect the composers' of that time and their common interests, in producing a music that was meant for the soul in some way. Most notable, in particular with the early baroque is a different sense of time - a feeling that perhaps has been lost since.

All I know is that at the moment, there is nothing much better for soothing the soul and allowing concentration on intense programming work, than "Ave Maris Stella" from the Vespers.

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