Is Instrumental Music Really Productive?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Many people believe that listening to instrumental music is productive. But is it really? Let’s take a look at the research to find out.

The Various Types of Instrumental Music

Instrumental music has been around for centuries, and there is a reason why. Studies have shown that instrumental music can help people focus and be productive. The right type of music can help you focus on the task at hand and block out distractions. There are different types of instrumental music, and each type can have different effects.

Classical Music

Classical music is a genre of art music that developed in Western culture between the Medieval (400 AD) and early Modern eras (1600 AD). It is commonly characterized by complex structures, beautiful melodies, and often shorter pieces compared to other genres such as pop or rock music.

There are many different subgenres of classical music, each with their own unique history and style. For example, Baroque music was incredibly popular in the 17th century and is known for its ornate melodies and grandiose orchestral arrangements. Classical Era composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven created pieces that are still revered today as some of the greatest works of art ever produced.

In the early 20th century, composers began to experiment with new ways of writing classical music. This led to the development of atonal and 12-tone compositions which sounded very different from anything that had come before. These new styles were often seen as controversial by traditionalists, but they quickly gained popularity with audiences around the world.

Today, classical music is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. It continues to evolve and be adapted to new audiences and contexts, ensuring that it remains one of the most popular genres of music in the world.


Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as “America’s classical music”. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as “one of America’s original art forms”.


Hip-hop is a popular, musical genre which originated in African American and Latino communities in the 1970s. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. Hip-hop arose out of the fertile crescent of New York City’s South Bronx and quickly spread worldwide.

Hip-hop music first emerged with disco rappers such as The Sugarhill Gang in the early 1970s. However, hip hop music did not get popularised until 1979 when Blondie released their song “Rapture”. The song’s success helped propel hip hop music into the mainstream. In the 1980s, electro and rap artists such as Afrika Bambaataa, Planet Rock Crew, Doug E. Fresh, Run DMC, Public Enemy and N.W.A helped to cement hip hop’s place in popular music.

In the 1990s, artists such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G brought gangsta rap to the forefront of hip hop music. Gangsta rap is a subgenre of hip hop that often depicts stories of violence and drug use. In the 2000s, hip hop continued to evolve with artists such as Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kanye West achieving commercial success.

The Different Effects of Instrumental Music

Instrumental music has been shown to have a number of different effects on people. It can help people focus and concentrate, it can boost productivity, and it can also reduce stress and anxiety. However, not all instrumental music is created equal. Some types of instrumental music are more effective than others.

Music as a Distraction

It’s no secret that music can be a powerful tool to help boost productivity and mood. But some research suggests that it may not be the best idea to listen to music while trying to focus on a task. In fact, depending on the type of music and the person, listening to music while working could actually have the opposite effect.

One study found that people who listened to upbeat music while working out on a treadmill ran for longer and burned more calories than those who listened to slower, more relaxing tunes. But when the same people tried to complete a complex puzzle while listening to music, they did not perform any better than those who completed the puzzle in silence. In fact, they actually did worse.

The researchers believe that when we are trying to focus on a task, anything that takes up our attention, even if it’s something we enjoy, can be a distraction. So if you’re trying to focus on a project at work or school, it might be best to save those tunes for later.

Music as a Motivator

It’s no secret that music has the ability to affect our moods. But did you know that it can also impact our productivity? Numerous studies have shown that listening to instrumental music while working can help improve focus and motivation.

One study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that participants who listened to instrumental music while completing a task were more likely to persists on the task when it became difficult. The researchers believe that this is because the music helped to reduce anxiety and increase positive emotions.

Other studies have found similar results, with participants reporting feeling more motivated and focused when listening to instrumental music. So if you’re struggling to get started on a project or feeling stuck in a creative rut, try putting on some tunes!

Music as a Relaxant

Does music really help us focus and be productive? According to a lot of research, the answer is yes! Different types of music can have different effects on our mood and brain activity, so it’s important to choose the right kind of music for the task at hand.

For example, if you’re trying to relax or de-stress, then Instrumental music is a great choice. Studies have shown that instrumental music can decrease anxiety and heart rate, while also promoting feelings of relaxation. So next time you need to unwind, try listening to some mellow tunes.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to increase your energy levels and focus, then upbeat music is the way to go. Research has shown that upbeat music can improve working memory and task performance. So if you’re feeling sluggish, put on your favorite pump-up playlist and get ready to take on the world!

The Productivity of Instrumental Music

It is commonly believed that listening to instrumental music can help one focus and be productive. While this may be true for some, it is not always the case. Different people have different reactions to different types of music. It is important to experiment with different genres and artists to see what works best for you.

The Positives of Instrumental Music

Instrumental music has been shown to have a positive effect on productivity. A study conducted in 2012 found that employees who listened to instrumental music while working were able to work faster and with more accuracy than those who did not listen to music. The study also found that employees who listened to instrumental music had lower levels of stress and anxiety.

Another study, conducted in 2014, found that students who listened to instrumental music while studying had higher grades than those who did not listen to music. The students who listened to music also had better attention spans and were able to concentrate for longer periods of time.

There are a number of reasons why instrumental music may be beneficial for productivity. Instrumental music can help to improve focus and concentration, and it can also reduce stress and anxiety levels. Listening to instrumental music is a great way to boost productivity and get more done!

The Negatives of Instrumental Music

Though some may disagree, I think that there are more negatives than positives to listening to instrumental music while working. Here are some of the reasons why I believe this:

Instrumental music can be repetitive and boring. After a while, it can start to feel like you’re just listening to the same thing over and over again. This can make it difficult to focus on your work.

Instrumental music can also be distracting. If you’re trying to focus on your work but the music is keeping you from getting into a flow state, then it’s not really helping you be productive.

Some people might argue that instrumental music is calming and can help you focus, but I would argue that if you’re trying to calm down, then you’re not really in the right state of mind to be productive in the first place.

In Conclusion

From the information and research gathered, it seems that there are varying opinions on whether instrumental music is truly productive or not. While some people may find that it helps them focus and get work done, others may find that it is distracting or causes them to lose focus. Ultimately, it seems that the determining factor is the individual and what works best for them. If you are struggling to focus while working and want to try listening to instrumental music, it may be worth giving it a shot to see if it helps you concentration. However, if you find that you are easily distracted by music, it might be best to stick to silence so that you can fully focus on your work.

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