Cadenza shares its midterm study music picks


Alas, midterm season is upon us. And on top of the tests, the quizzes and the papers, finding the right song to study can be just as stressful. This Halloween season, have no fear: Cadenza has a foolproof study list to use when you realize you’ll need to pull an all-nighter for that midterm tomorrow. Take a deep breath and enjoy.

Amelie soundtrack

Very rarely in life do you find a piece of art that moves you, influences you and comforts you at the same time. The soundtrack to the 2001 French film “Amelie” does all of this and more. Even if you haven’t yet seen the film, the soundtrack—full of quirky songs primarily based on a piano melody—will lull you into an alternate form of studying. The occasional accordion sound and light retro singing (especially “Guilty”) push the track from boring but renew your focus to keep writing that paper.
–Lindsay Tracy, Senior Cadenza Editor

“Fly” by Ludovico Einaudi

This intense instrumental will make your library cubicle come to life. Starting quietly and building in a dark, yet motivationally powerful, tone, this piece might be called “Fly,” but it certainly does not initiate flight of ideas. You will find yourself entranced with whatever you are working on, wanting to write fast until the song reaches its climax. Being a piano-only instrumental, Einaudi’s whole album serves as the perfect background for when real work needs to get done.
–Greer Russell, Music Editor

“Waves” by Wun Two & CoryaYo

“Waves” is an album of 22 short instrumental songs. This album is great to put on if you want to get a short burst of studying done. The different songs, named for things that remind you of the beach, all have their own personality, while contributing to the album’s vibe. The songs transport you to a more relaxing place, while not keeping you from your studies. Wun Two’s other albums, “Snow, Vol. 2,” “Penthouse” and “Rio,” have similar effects, but in my opinion, “Waves” is the best to study to.
–Josh Zucker, Staff Writer

Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy on loop

Sometimes, it’s difficult to put on a playlist while you study because changing songs can distract you from your studies. That’s when I like to pull up YouTube (bless) and choose multi-hour loops of some of my favorite study songs. Among these is the classic, the elegant, the soothing “Clair de Lune” piano track. Even if you’re going to fail your bio exam, at least you’ll know beauty still exists in the world.
–Lindsay Tracy, Senior Cadenza Editor

“Þu ert solin” by Olafur Arnalds

This very quiet piece will work wonders at that moment when you look at your list of things to do and fall into a moment of sheer panic or anxiety. Very frugal in notes, this piece focuses more on drawing out tones than complicating the work with a motley of chords. Trying to type out this complicated name in the Spotify search bar is without a doubt worth it (just look up the artist). You will instantaneously feel relieved and ready to tackle the next task on your list.

–Greer Russell, Music Editor

“El Repaso – Instrumental Bonus Track” by Brous One

The track, full of percussion and piano, at times gets lost in its own beat, just like you’re feeling lost studying now. The beat is good and will keep you on track, and the song’s instrumentals are layered. It lives in the middle ground, where it’s engaging but not distracting. Every so often, you’ll notice something new about the song, but you won’t feel pulled out of your work.
–Josh Zucker, Staff Writer

“Real Love Baby” by Father John Misty

Warning: If you are a person who prefers solely piano or instrumental music while studying, this may not be an instantaneous add to your study playlist. However, I encourage you to give it a chance. A languid little piece filled with repetition, you will not get distracted by the lyrics as much as you might expect. Instead, Father John Misty will liven your study space up just the right amount, waking you from your mid-study session indifference and encouraging you to keep pushing through.
–Greer Russell, Music Editor

“Malt Liquor” by Lewis Del Mar

Whenever I’m studying for something math- or science-based, I prefer some chill music and low-key lyrics. “Malt Liquor” is just that. The lyrics won’t distract you from your hard work, and the beat will keep you from remembering that you still have 50 more pages of notes to go over.
–Josh Zucker, Staff Writer

“Very Best of John Coltrane”

It’s 74 minutes long, and every song puts you in the mind-set of a very cool person. That’s the only word I have to describe it: cool.
—Ayanna Harrison, Contributing Writer