Prelims playlist: Assorted jams for late-night crams

Art by Janssen Judd Romero/ THE FLAME

IN THE dimly lit hours of dawn, when textbooks become necessary companions and coffee the greatest ally, there lies a secret weapon every student should have at their disposal: the perfect playlist. 

With the ongoing preliminary examinations, having a strategically curated playlist may just come in handy. 

Music is one of the best if not the best, stimulant there is. It reaches the mind, touches the soul and aids in human learning like no other. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what the ingredients should be in mixing up tunes, but the following recommendations will definitely turn late-night slogs into productive and even enjoyable marathons.

1.Classical music

Kicking off this list is the tried and tested classical music. It has been a stereotype for brilliant people to listen to this genre. Although the generalization cannot be proven, the strict rules and disciplined training regimes that shaped  classical musicians truly exemplify hard-earned dedication. For students, its harmonious melodies and intricate note compositions hold the power to transform the mundane act of studying into a captivating and productive sonata. The absence of lyrics offers a soothing yet stimulating backdrop without the vocals hijacking one’s attention. These symphonies, as carefully arranged as they are, have the potential m not only to wake heavy eyes but academic potential as well. 

2. Lo-fi

Lo-fi or low-fidelity music are loosely produced soundtracks with deliberate imperfections and degraded quality. Not to be taken as a negative definition, these songs provide a relaxing ambient aura perfect for midnight reading and perhaps gentle sips of coffee to calm the nerves.

3. Smooth jazz

Whether it be suave maestro Kenny G’s silky smoove sax lines or 80’s hitmaker George Benson’s clean tone, smooth jazz is the perfect jam for the sophisticated crammer. The soft yet thrilling voicing will surely give goosebumps. Its non-distracting chromatic phrasings will definitely fuel one’s learning drive. Grace and elegance, that is the theme. 

4. Video game soundtracks

As unconventional as it sounds, the lively kick of video game soundtracks might just be the perfect coffee substitute for palpitation-prone students. Touching upon several genres, such as the 8-bit theme of Undertale, the jazzy funk songs from Mario Kart, and maybe even the orchestral climax of Persona battle music, these songs are a guarantee to liven up study sessions. Maybe Mario’s iconic “Yahoo!” is the only motivation needed.

5. White Noise

Rounding up this list is a personal favorite: White noise. Have it ever felt like all other sounds purge away focus? No matter how relaxing or serene they flow through the auditory canals, it just results in a distracting internal concert? In that case, white noise might just be perfect for this type of crammer. Its unassuming yet effective static sound drowns out all the other background noises. It creates a tunnel vision to fixate on the materials at hand. With no roosters cuck-a-doodling at 12, dogs barking at trash cans, and cars rushing by the muddy puddles of España, it can create the best study environment. 

While each one has a preferred ambiance when studying for the prelims, one thing is certain: choosing the right music can help you prepare for the front act that will set the tone for the rest of the term. Whether it’s best to rock with Baroque phenom Vivaldi’s concertos, tap feet to Lo-fi beats, explore the smooth rhythmic patterns of jazz, relive childhood nostalgia in video game soundtracks or opt to shun the world in white noise, may these suggestions help cruise your way towards that uno

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