I’ve found over the years that there is some music that is well-suited for listening while doing software-development related work and some music is not. Rather than try to derive a special formula for “coding music” I’m going to tell you about some music that works for me. One group I’ve been listening to for awhile that works particularly well is The Bad Plus.
The Bad Plus is a jazz piano trio that might not sound like a jazz group to you at first blush. They employ jazz idioms and instrumentation on popular cover tunes and their own originals as well. I find a wide range of mood and tone in their music: calm and nearly ambient, cacophonic excitement, and even straight ahead tunes with lots of energy. Despite the diversity it all works nicely when I’m clacking away on the keyboard.
I highly recommend catching them live if they are ever playing in your town. The occasions I’m which I had the priviledge of hearing The Bad Plus did not disappoint – YouTube has a nice selection of live recordings available. One can only hope they release more live music in the future.