Classical Music to Code By

This weekend I spent a few hours trying to teach myself the basics of R, a programing language for statistical computation and data visualization.  It’s fairly easy language to grasp, but much like Proce55ing or any other language for that matter, once you’ve got the basics down, making the cool stuff can send you down a rabbit hole of trial and error. That said, unlike with most of the other languages I’ve tried to teach myself, I felt like I got this rather quickly.  

I thought about why I felt I worked better today than other days and reflected on the differences between what I normally do (multitask while watching TV and doing other stuff) versus what I did today (sit here planted until I learnt myself somethin’). The other major difference I noticed, however, was the music I was listening to – largely string quartets and orchestral arrangements by Kronos Quartet, Brodsky Quartet, Alarm Will Sound and others.  

I’m not sure if it’s been documented or if it’s just anecdotal, but the combination of maths (music and programming) seem to compliment each other, especially when one is learning. Or perhaps it’s just the fact that there were no lyrics to distract me.

What type of music do you work to? Do certain types of music help or hinder the process?