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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The soundtrack to straight A’s

    Assosciated Booking Corporation
    Members of the Dave Brubeck Quartet (from left to right) Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Joe Morello and Gene Wright pose for a photo on July 31, 1962. The group’s song “You Go to My Head” will power your study sessions to good grades.

    With midterms right around the corner, you may be dreading those venti-latte-filled, six-hour study sessions at the library, but studying doesn’t have to be that stressful. Listening to the right study music can help you concentrate and conquer any exam, which is why the Daily Wildcat created the Ultimate Study Playlist to make the process a little less stressful.

    1. ”Breakfast at Tiffany’s” — Henry Mancini

    Alright, Wildcats — start your studying off right with the gorgeous theme from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” This song will make you feel fabulous while studying — so much that you’ll be lost in your work (and dreaming of Tiffany’s).

    2. ”Polka Dots and Moon Beams” — Bud Powell

    This classic has been remade and sung by jazz performers throughout history, but Bud Powell’s version is a true favorite. This song will make you feel as if you’re sad and alone at the 1930s piano bar, but in reality, no — you’re just sad and alone at the library.

    3. ”Alianca” — Paul Desmond

    Lighten up, guys — that last one was a joke. Enjoy “Alianca,” a nice tune that will make your feet tap and your fingers tap even faster. Who doesn’t love a little alto sax and bass guitar?

    4. ”You Go to My Head” — The Dave Brubeck Quartet

    If you know anything about jazz, it’s that Dave Brubeck is the king of jazz piano. With lovely piano and clarinet solos, this song will help you imagine things more beautiful than your o-chem homework.

    5. ”Autumn Leaves” — Cannonball Adderley

    “Autumn Leaves” is a fun, uplifting song that has so much going on, you might have to listen to it twice in order to catch what you missed the first time. Many instruments fill this 11-minute piece, but that’s what makes it fun, exciting and wonderful.

    6. ”Only the Beginning of the Adventure” — Harry Gregson-Williams

    Taking a break from the study jazz and listen to some grade-A movie scores. Sound familiar? This piece is from “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” This is a personal favorite for me, as it tells a story with beautiful strings making entrances at perfect times. Maybe you’ll find yourself in Narnia at the end of this song.

    7. ”Shawshank Prison (Stoic Theme)” — Thomas Newman

    This chilling theme is compact with strings and low brass, making the song much more powerful than the movie where it originates.

    8. ”Harry in Winter” — Patrick Doyle

    Of course Harry Potter was going to find its way onto this playlist — how could it not? This beautiful piece is going to make you believe you’re at Hogwarts for 2:54 minutes, before you realize you are, in fact, very, very far from Hogwarts.

    9. ”Home Alone Main Title (‘Somewhere in My Memory’)” — John Williams

    A Christmas song in March? What else did you expect? This theme is good for anytime of year and will make you smile while remembering those warm and wonderful times shared with family during the holiday season. With Christmas sounds like flutes, clarinets and french horns, you will study gloriously and count down the days ’til Christmas.

    10. ”The Nutcracker: Ballet, Op. 71 / Act 1: No. 9 — Scene and Waltz of the Snowflakes” — Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Just one more Christmas song, I promise. This piece is from composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky who wrote the famed ballet, “The Nutcracker.” Indulge yourself in the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” as it takes you through a beautiful 6:42-minute daydream.

    11. ”3 Gymnopédies: Gymnopédie No. 1″ — Erik Satie

    This ultimate study playlist ends with the saddest song ever. I first heard this song while watching Wes Anderson’s “The Royal Tenenbaums” and found myself sobbing midway through the piece. A sense of peace still emanates from this song, though, which will hopefully guide you in your study endeavors.

    Follow Mariel Bustamante on Twitter.

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