Perfect Music for Studying

20 Instrumental Songs

Headphones laying on stack of vinyl records

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According to Nick Perham, a researcher published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, the best music for studying is none at all, which is sure to make all the music aficionados upset to hear. Perham recommends complete quiet or ambient noise, like a soft conversation or muted traffic for the optimal study background. Websites like and apps like "White Noise" have millions of users testifying to the fact that ambient noise helps people focus and study. But purveyors of white noise have an equal number of music lovers who would beg to disagree. 

Some people, despite Perham's research, believe that music is a must for studying everything from the SAT to the MCAT. They believe that music can really enhance the study experience since music brightens people's moods and increases positive feelings - both of which are important factors for successful study.

Lyric-Free Music

Music researchers do agree on one thing, however: music for studying should be free from lyrics, so the songs aren't competing for your brain's memory space. 

The individual songs listed below can give you an idea of the wide range of lyric-free study music available to you. There is an entire world out there dedicated to study music that you may have never even heard about. Try Pandora and Spotify stations by genre and artist and download the music apps to help you focus on your studies and NOT on the sweet beats of the songs. 

20 Songs for Studying

These twenty songs represent a wide variety in musical genres. Everything from classical music by Mozart to covers by Modern Rock Heroes is listed, hopefully hitting a lyric-free genre you'd be willing to crack open the books to. 

  1. Song: Adagio from Serenade No. 10 in B Flat Major for Thirteen Winds "Gran Partita" Listen
    Artist: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  2. Song: Aloha Ia O Waianae Listen
    Artist: Ledward Kaapana
  3. Song: Be Still My Soul
    Artist: David Nevue
  4. Song: Blues After Hours Listen
    Artist: Pee Wee Crayton
  5. Song: Braveheart Film Score Listen
    Artist: James Horner
  6. Song: Concerto for Violin, String and Harpsichord in C R. 190 I. Allegro
    Artist: Antonio Vivaldi
  7. Song: Desfinado Listen
    Artist: Stan Getz
  8. Song: Here Comes The Sun Listen
    Artist: Piano Music Songs
  9. Song: In The Shadow Of Your Wings Listen
    Artist: John Tesh
  10. Song: Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet Listen
    Artist: Henry Mancini
  11. Song: Palladio Listen
    Artist: Escala
  12. Song: Étude-Tableau in C Major, Op. 33, No. 2 Listen
    Artist: Rachmaninoff
  13. Song: Sigh Listen to Sigh
    Artist: Praful
  14. Song: Silence Magnifies Sound Listen
    Artist: The Six Parts Seven
  15. Song: So Long, Lonesome Listen
    Artist: Explosions in The Sky
  16. Song: South Street Listen
    Artist: Bobby Ross Avila and Natural
  17. Song: Take Five Listen
    Artist: Dave Brubeck
  18. Song: Viva La Vida Listen
    Artist: Modern Rock Heroes
  19. Song: Whiskey Before Breakfast Listen
    Artist: Doc Watson
  20. Song: You Wish Listen
    Artist: Nightmares on Wax


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Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "Perfect Music for Studying." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Roell, Kelly. (2020, August 26). Perfect Music for Studying. Retrieved from Roell, Kelly. "Perfect Music for Studying." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).