Often, I will sit down at my desk and know that it’s crunch time. So I grab the coffee, play my favorite motion picture soundtracks, and buckle in for a long night. Without my Spotify play list of classical music, I’d be lost. It keeps me on track and I don’t end up being distracted by lyrics (although I may hum along at times). These are my top eight favorite soundtracks of all time for studying, and hopefully keep you motivated as they do for me
8. Cinderella by Patrick Doyle
With smooth, silky playing, this album places you straight in a fairy tale. It has many tracks, all on the softer side and very princess-like. It definitely comes from a Disney movie, and has tantalizing chorus “oohs” often pop up in the background. Be careful; although it is an awesome score, it can be a little too tame-make sure to play only if you aren’t too dangerously close to falling asleep.
7. The Age of Adaline by Rob Simonsen
This is another mellow score that can easily be put on in the background and listened to for an hour or two. It combines the use of beautiful orchestral playing and vocals to keep you on track without being distracted by too many strange jumps in sound or super intense playing. For most songs, they begin light and climax at the end, keeping you focused and going strong while listening.
6. The Hunger Games by James Newton Howard
A little more powerful than the last few, it is more somber but faster tempo. It doesn’t lag in tempo, and fits the movie perfectly-which first led me to dig deeper into the background music. Rather than leaning towards the more classical side, which offers variety, it tends to be more modern which means more drums and less strings-good for many people who find the symphony dull and not invigorated by that type of music. It includes one of my all-time favorite songs, “Rue’s Farewell”, which opens with guitar, then cascades into an iconic violin melody.
5. The Book Thief by John Williams
Okay, listen up. John Williams composed this album. The same John Williams involved with Jaws, Star Wars and Jurassic Park. This is very different from the more action geared music he has created, and being the amazing composer he is, made another score nominated for an Oscar and a variety of other awards and this is it. Pertaining to encouraging you to study, it offers up relatively short tracks, each sounding different which leaves no room for boredom. It’s become my go-to!
4. Brooklyn by Michael Brook
Piano and Irish music influences are used often here, the movie seeping through and defining this album a lot more than any other album in the list. It deals with a girl immigrating to America from Ireland, and takes on a tone of nostalgia. It makes this soundtrack unique, and easy going mood sets a no-stress atmosphere.
3. Any Harry Potter Film Score
Although the Harry Potter films have soundtracks written by different artists, they are all undoubtedly amazing works of art. Playing any of the albums from the film series will give you a necessary boost in energy with high paced songs as well as appropriately timed slower and gentler ones. Trying to choose one album is like telling someone to pick just one artist, so I would peruse them all! A popular and beloved song that also happens to be well suited for writing is to be “Lily’s Theme”, so starting there and working around is my general strategy.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Dario Marianelli, Jean-Yves Thibaudet
This is a great album as a beginner’s album into the world of classical music and film scores. The tempo changes, stylistic choices, and instrument emphasis really makes this stand out from other romantic films and their soundtrack. It’s beautiful use of piano in many of the pieces and balancing with the orchestra invites the listener in without overwhelming them. It is the ideal album for a long night and a word count needed to be met by class the next day through soothing and inspiring tracks.
1.Romeo & Juliet by Abel Korzeniowski
And at my number one is Romeo & Juliet, a soundtrack so inspiring and moving it’ll make you want to study ‘till you drop. Every single song plays as a story, moving with grace as the music writes. The intensity changes along the way, moving from sweet to somber. Whatever mood you’re in while cranking out homework, this will cover it all. The violin is particularly stunning in “Forbidden Love” as is the piano in “First Kiss”. Any study group session is amiss without this being played.