It seems everyone is talking about LoFi music these days, but what exactly is it? It’s not a new type of music, given that LoFi has been around since the 1950s, but it’s more popular than ever. A lot of people have realised that listening to LoFi can have benefits – in particular helping you study better! But is this just another weird trend that doesn’t work, or can LoFi music actually make you more focused and able to study? We break down what LoFi music, examples of it and what the research stays about listening to LoFi music and studying.

What is LoFi music?

what is lofi music

LoFi, short for Low Fidelity, is an intriguingly textured music genre that’s got lots of people talking. Rooted in the idea of authenticity and rawness over technical perfection, it has a charming appeal. In the same way people like listening to crackles of vinyls, the imperfections of atmospheric noises, hums and other sounds make LoFi special. They sort of lend to its organic quality.

LoFi music can be seen as the musical expression of the saying, “beauty in imperfection.” Originating in the 1950s, the genre has evolved to incorporate influences from jazz, hip hop, ambient, and more, creating a mellow, relaxing, and stimulating soundscape. Today, LoFi is more than a genre; it’s an emotional refuge for those seeking solace and a creative boost in an ever-busy world.

Iconic examples of LoFi music

While LoFi music has recently gained widespread popularity due to streaming platforms, it’s worth appreciating its rich history. Various artists have made significant contributions to shaping its identity over the years.

In the realm of LoFi hip-hop, one cannot ignore the influence of the late Japanese producer Nujabes. His iconic album, “Metaphorical Music,” fuses jazz samples with hip-hop beats, creating a sound that soothes the soul and engages the mind.

In the present era, YouTube channels like Lofi Girl, formerly known as “ChilledCow”, have become synonymous with LoFi music. Their ‘lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to’ livestream has become a popular background score for students worldwide.

Moreover, contemporary artists like Aso continue to cultivate the genre, producing hypnotic tracks that blend seamlessly into our daily lives. Their music possesses the power to transform ordinary moments into those of tranquillity and contemplation. In other words, they can help you chill out. Here’s more LoFi artists to check out.

Is LoFi music really good for focus and studying?

LoFi’s inherent simplicity and repetitiveness make it the perfect companion for students. It provides a peaceful backdrop that mitigates distractions and fosters an environment conducive to concentration. But how does LoFi music help you study more effectively?

A phenomenon known as the “Mozart Effect” suggests that listening to music may potentially increase intelligence. While this theory primarily focuses on classical music, the principles can be applied to LoFi due to their shared characteristics of consistency and soothing melodies.

what is lofi music and can it help you study better?

Moreover, LoFi music facilitates the activation of both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The left side, which processes logical tasks, is stimulated by the rhythmic patterns in the music, while the right side, responsible for creative tasks, responds to the melodies.

Research has also shown that listening to music at a moderate volume encourages creative thinking and helps maintain focus. LoFi music, with its subtle sonic texture and unobtrusive rhythm, hits this sweet spot effortlessly.

In essence, LoFi’s steady rhythms and ambient sounds create an aural cocoon that isolates listeners from potential distractions. This cocoon effect helps students remain focused, thereby maximising their study sessions’ productivity.

How do you make LoFi music?

make your own lofi music

The wonderful thing about LoFi music is its accessibility. You don’t need a full studio set-up or a vast knowledge of music production to get started. It typically revolves around a chill beat, often borrowed from hip hop, and a sample, which could be anything from a jazz riff to a snippet of an old film dialogue. The beauty of LoFi is that there are no rules about what you can use; it’s all about creating a vibe that resonates with you.

Here’s a simple roadmap to start creating your own LoFi track

Beatmaking

Start with a basic drum beat. It can be as simple as a kick-snare pattern. The idea is to keep it relaxed and repetitive.

Sampling

Next, find a sample that you want to work with. This could be a melody from a song, a jazz piano riff, or even ambient sounds like rain or a coffee shop noise. Remember, the more textured and ‘imperfect’, the better.

Effects

This is where you can add that distinctive LoFi feel. Using audio processing tools, you can add effects like vinyl crackles, tape hiss, or even a low-pass filter to give it that old-school, muffled sound.

Looping

Once you’ve got your beat, sample, and effects sorted, it’s time to loop them. LoFi tracks often have a short loop that repeats throughout the song. It’s this repetition that gives LoFi its hypnotic quality.

Experiment

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. LoFi music is all about breaking the rules and finding beauty in the unexpected. So, play around with different sounds and effects until you create something that feels right to you.

LoFi music, with its blend of simplicity, nostalgia, and soothing beats, offers a unique sonic experience. Whether it’s serving as a backdrop to your study sessions or providing a calm space amidst the chaos of life, LoFi music is much more than a genre. It’s a modern-day sanctuary that entices you to slow down, focus, and immerse yourself in the joy of the present moment. If you’re looking for more ways to boost your study sessions, check out our tips for studying at home.

Last Updated on September 14, 2023

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