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Get Shit Done (An Instrumental Study Playlist)

Wake up! Find a seat in Butler! Only three days until finals!

Wake up! Find a seat in Butler! Only three days until finals!

As today is the first day of Reading Week (or Reading Three Days), and likely the first day you realized you seriously needed to get your act together and start studying. To help you on this seemingly futile quest, Bwogger Betsy Ladyzhets has put together a playlist of instrumental music that’s at once motivational and not distracting. The playlist is, in total, about three hours long, and includes familiar movie soundtracks, famous classical pieces, and a few less famous classical pieces.

Here are some highlights:

  • Pacific Rim Theme, Ramin Djawadi – What better way to start studying than with the theme from a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters in an epic battle for humankind’s survival? Cancel the apocalypse. Fight the hurricane. Start your paper. These things are about equivalent.
  • James Bond Theme, John Barry Orchestra – Not sure how to start that problem? Maybe try sneaking up on it. Using your fists instead of your guns. Shouting witty one-liners.
  • Children’s March, Percy Grainger – The kind of wind ensemble piece that just keeps going – first growing in intensity, peaking, then falling, much like your motivation when you tell yourself that there are still two more reading days before your first final. (Listen to those French horns, though.)
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Philharmonia Orchestra – Remember that scene from Fantasia 2000 with the dancing brooms? Imagine the brooms are your professors, taunting you to try harder.
  • I Am the Doctor, Murray Gold – It’s no longer cool to like Doctor Who (did anyone even watch the newest season?), but that doesn’t stop the music from being incredible.
  • Rockelbel’s Canon (Pachelbel’s Canon), Steven Sharp Nelson – The Piano Guys’ cover of Pachelbel’s Canon – both more fun to listen to and more fun to play, if you’re a cellist.
  • Bolero (Ravel), London Symphony Orchestra – Imagine you’re the snare drum player in this piece. No matter what happens, you just have to keep going. Don’t lose your rhythm.
  • Arrival of the Birds, City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra – May sound like a familiar movie soundtrack, because it’s been ripped off by multiple composers. But for good reason – it’s pretty, and the repeating melodies can help you lose track of time.
  • My Neighbor Totoro Suite, Eminence Symphony Orchestra – Remember how great Miyazaki movies are? How fun and happy? That’s how you’ll feel when you’re done with finals.
  • Foundry, John Mackey  This is one of those band pieces that has more percussion parts than actual wind parts (including a “clang,” vibraslap, whip, and “rattling metal objects.”) If you started to drift off, it’ll definitely wake you up.
  • Brothers in Arms (Mad Max: Fury Road Soundtrack), Tom Holkenborg – If Furiosa and Max can fight off hundreds of adversaries with just one huge truck, you can finish this problem set. Or at least, this problem.
  • Tam O’Shanter, US Air Force Heritage of America Band – This piece tells the story of a drunk Irish man walking home from the pub through a dark, creepy forest, chased by a pack of witches. No joke.

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