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Programming Music

lpellis profile image Loftie Ellis Originally published at loftie.com ・1 min read

What kind of music do you generally prefer for coding? Personally I find myself looking for:

  • Long (30min+) mixes so I can keep the same tempo going
  • No vocals, I find listening to vocals makes it much harder for me to concentrate on coding (others might not be bothered by them)

Below are some of the mixes I enjoy, normally I would just open them in the background on my 2nd monitor (it helps that the visuals are also pleasing without too much going on)

Do you have any favourite mixes? Let me know in the comments.


Editor guide

I currently enjoy a lot of lofi hip-hop or chillhop. Mostly music with few lyrics or none at all, although some metal songs from time to time can help push through a sleepy or lazy day.

My current favorites:
Celldweller (or Blue Stahli)

I have also acquired noise-cancelling headphones for work since music is a crucial part of my work process. It's incredibly helpful when trying to achieve that state of "flow".

My music taste has always been criticized, so I realize it might not be popular with most everyone. However, if a least one person can discover new music from this comment, please let me know because that would be awesome!


Hey, fellow Celldweller fan chiming in! Internet high five.


I like it, its a bit more upbeat than the other ones in this thread.
All your links point to the same list though?


Sorry, my bad, I've fixed that now. Thanks for pointing it out, and I'm glad you liked what you heard!


Nice topic!

Depending on my mood or the intensity of the task, I would go from music where high concentration is not required, to music I basically use to get into the zone.

For getting into the zone, I usually go with classic or modernized classic. One of my favorites is Vivaldi's Winter from Four Seasons:

If for you, classic feels too classic, maybe a more modern version(s) can help here:

I also like very much Bach's harpsichord music, for example:


That John Wick music is perfect mix of classic and modern, thanks for reminding me of that!


There is also a special place in my heart for Castlevania music :)


Mostly European power metal here, with some symphonic and folk metal, as well as a little techno and chiptune. I've got a long (50+ hour) playlist I set to shuffle while I work. I tend to prefer certain songs as starting points, but beyond that I'm not picky as long as it's fast, well arranged, and has lots of synth or electric guitar (or full orchestration, depending on the band).

Favorites right now include:


Good mix! I think I would find it hard in the beginning to code with that (I'd get too much into the music), but if you know the songs very well then it can be more in the background and work


Falconer is like one of my favourite bands. :D


I like a good dose of weird in music while I'm working to keep things interesting, but I don't like things that are too abrasive. I've been building a Spotify playlist of songs that fit the bill:



I avoid vocals most of the time.

Right now I've been listening to a lot of prog metal like Animals As Leaders, Strawberry Girls, and Thank You Scientist. Sometimes I also listen to lofi beats, and I like programming to synthwave music a lot. I'm a big fan of Arcade High and Gunships.

Every now and then I will listen to French music while programming. I think, because my French isn't perfect, it's easier to tune the words out. Right now I'm listening to a lot of Lomepal, Romeo Elvis, and Bigflo & Oli.


Personally I listen mostly to Post Rock when coding. It's the best genre for it and it's such a deep and varied genre too if you really explore it. Bonus points for mostly being an instrumental genre and the songs being quite long in general.

Second choice would be Baroque/Classical/Romantic. But of course the further you go from Baroque through Classical and especially into Romantic the more, uhh, emotionally charged the music becomes? And emotions are distracting. So that's a thing.

Third and finally - video game music or film scores.

EDIT: Okay I lied, some of the more chilled out genres of electronica also deserve a mention.

This seems cool, also (disclaimer: found it on reddit but haven't had a chance to check it out yet) - musicforprogramming.net/

I'll be sure to check out the suggestions in the comments anyway.

Some Post Rock band recommendations:

  • This Will Destroy You
  • pg.lost
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • If These Trees Could Talk
  • And So I Watch You From Afar
  • 65daysofstatic
  • Pelican
  • Moonlit Sailor
  • God is an Astronaut
  • sleepmakeswaves
  • MONO
  • Hammock
  • Maybeshewill

Nice, there are a couple of Do Make Say Think albums I like working to as well!


I've worked to Jon Hopkins' Immunity, Singularity, & Insides more than anything else; soundtrack-y instrumental electronic. Sometimes deathcore or mathmetal really does the trick, though. Nothing where the lyrics stick out too much.


Had to google some of those, seems perfect for what I had in mind thanks!


No music at all! Ambient noise gives me 100% focus:


That is certainly a different take :)


The only choice is Darude Sandstorm, obvs

I don't really "code" yet but when I'm staring through log files or some CLI, I like Electric Guest's stuff


I like the cinematic electronica of Ugress:


Ugress is an electronica project from Bergen, Norway, the main project of prolific electronic musician Gisle Martens Meyer.


I love a bit of Space Ambient - terrifc chilled YouTube channel with loads of playlists. Ideal for deep-thinking, programming, designing if you like laid-back galaxy drifting in your earholes.

Here's an example:

Update: forgot to say, I particularly like the Captain Panic! stuff.


I'm the same way - I code best with any electronic music, from house to trap to dubstep. It's a perfect balance of not being distracting but giving the right energy to code!


Give this a go!

It's legit programming music, just check out this video and you'll see what I mean:


Can I just be James Murphy for a day, please?


Haha thats surprisingly good


Glad you dig it!

Not sure if it'll work quite as well for programming because there are lyrics, BUT you may want to check out the band LCD Soundsystem if you like the music above. James Murphy is the band's founder, and to second @markjohson303 's sentiment, he's pretty awesome.

Because I know you dig long mixes, I'm thinking you may want to check the song 45:33 out:


You inspired me. I created this with your choices:

I've decided to scan the comments and other selections my comments..


Thats really cool!


I listen to a lot of classical music, piano solo, jazz and latin guitar. Anything that does not have words is usually what I listen to.


lofi and chillhop at the beginning of the week, then electronic-whatever mixes, then a bunch of pop by Thursday, and on Friday techno, house. It's more of a 5 days process xd


i like listening to Matt Eliott, especially when coding in PHP hahaha


Better be the drinking songs :)


On the topic of programming I suggest you check out free coding camp’s internet radio


I prefer total silence while coding, but I listen to a lot of synthwave when I'm taking a pause.