Lo-Fi Music: Impetus for Your Productivity

Music is certainly a potent stimulus for profound emotions. Its origins date to the paleolithic era and now it could certainly be used to regulate an individual’s emotions almost miraculously. Music is a potent medium, and can have intense psychological effects. It can be used to metamorphose your emotions in numerous ways, depending on genre and motive from the creator. 

For instance, the incentive of Lofi music creators is to give their listeners a stimulus to work in a more productive manner, due to its minimalistic instrumentation and low emphasis on higher harmonics, in the frequency spectrum. Additionally the intentional auditory imperfections accentuated in lo-fi can also be the cause of neurophysiological effects on the brain that emit positive emotions, which help enhance concentration. The terminology of lo-fi started becoming prevalent in the year of 1950, which is actually an abbreviation for low fidelity, or low quality music. During this period of time, music creation started to become much more accessible to younger people; to wear multiple hats simultaneously. This also was a preliminary stage that led to the establishment of independent music. 

From around the late 90s to the early 2000s there were several producers that reshaped this ‘DIY’ sound who included, J Dilla, with his methodology of sampling obscure records from the 70s and rearranging fragments of the song, whilst making use of an interesting rhythmic structure. His instrumentation and music in general, was highly minimalistic yet was very effective in terms of giving it an organic, human-like texture, by means of playing each individual element of the instrumental by hand, whether it was creating a rhythmic pattern for the kick drum, or even chopping the sample on his MPC. This was adopted by producers such as Nujabes, as well as Madlib. Once this artform gained traction, it found a place of acknowledgement in the realm of hip hop music as well (Hence the name Lofi hip hop). 

Lofi music has now been shaped into a distinctive genre, primarily characterized by its nostalgic and subdued emotional quality. So you could say it is mostly evocative in terms of its nostalgia, as well it being a stimulus of productivity, due to its effect on the limbic system, that helps process experiences and memories that are emotionally compelling, and hence this gives a sense of familiarity. The limbic system plays an imperative role in the way in which you behave. The genre of lo fi music is also characterized by ostinatos that are fairly repetitive, and musical phrases, with subtle variations that activate the dopamine neurotransmitter, which helps prolong your concentration. Studies have shown how Lofi music helps suppress emotions of apprehension, due to the gradual decrease of the amount of cortisol, being a hormone which actively aggravates your stress level. Listening to lo-fi music helps deviate the brain from pain signals, due to which chronic pain is temporarily perceived with less severity. Such music simultaneously leads to a decrease in your heart rate. These effects are invaluable for productivity purposes. 

In conclusion, Lofi music can be highly beneficial for the purposes of tranquility, mental wellbeing, as well as prolonged concentration. This is exceedingly significant to retain especially when speaking of a community like Woodstock, in which there is a hankering to achieve perpetual efficiency, despite the varying workload demand throughout each academic year. And hence, such enhancers for productivity can significantly benefit your workflow. 

Paranjay is a staff reporter.

Edited by Asha.

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