A s I write this I have a set of headphones on while I listen to Bowie’s “Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust.” I’ve got the volume cranked so the outside world is drowned out.
Music sends me into an altered state. I can think clearly. I can crank out programming code. I can play killer chess (well, at least when I was younger I could do that…if I was listening to Black Sabbath don’t even think of beating me in chess…it wouldn’t happen). It’s as if the music preoccupies a section of the brain – perhaps it placates the stimulus-seeking part of your brain – thereby making it possible to concentrate.