Do you listen to music while playing chess?
What most chess players had to say.

Chess and music have alot in common. Good chess and good music are a product of creativity, intelligence and talent. Similarly chess players have different styles of play and different musical tastes.

It is interesting that the term musical taste is tied to the term aesthetics. Musical taste is often paired together with musical preferences. Most people understand musical taste as one’s preferences in music: particular genres, styles, music bands. Psychologists study the topic by presenting participants of their experiments with questions like “On a scale of one to five, rate how much you like rock music?”

Considering that chess is a game with deep calculation and need alot of concentration; would you then say that you could enjoy music while playing chess?

We sampled answers from chess  players online and this is what they had to say:

"Absolutely.. The music makes me feel so relaxed, and I can think clearly on the board. I listen to music during my university exams as well (when it is allowed)..I like to listen to instrumental music or Aurora♥"

"Personally I love playing while wearing my headphones with some hard rock music and not /+.9soft or classical music. The music feels better I sac a piece on the board and it climaxes...Its epic."

"Depends on the music; I do not listen to hip hop while playing chess. Piano is ok. Usually I listen to "classical" solo piano. e.g I love Vladimir Horowitz at the Withaman Auditorium."

"No! I would not take that risk. Calculation requires silence, not music. I prefer total silence so that I can squeeze my opponent to the core"

"As for me a winning position calls for different song. Sometimes I blame ugly sounds for my losses, sometimes even the national anthem is suffice. I usually do one song over and over.....I used to like metal/rock Jon bovi it's my life.... These days am into masego." - Coach Andy
"Personally, it matters little whether I listen to music or not while playing chess. My brain is always thinking of several things anyway." Ian King

I'm my opinion I think if you are playing blitz or with friends just for fun, then it’s fine to have some music to set some good moods. However, If you are playing competitively then music will be a distraction. Think of it this way, it is unwanted activity which you are engaging your brain into while it can fully concentrate on the game. Maybe it will help you to calm down nerves and think openly, but I guess it reduces your calculation power.

According to Vance from below is a list of MIXED songs that you could consider listening as you blitz or having some casual play with a friend:


1. M, Pop Muzik

2. Madonna, Borderline

3. Main Ingredient, Everybody Plays the Fool

4. Yngwie Malmsteen, Pyramid of Cheops

5. Barry Manilow, Mandy

6. Amy Mann, That's Just What You Are

7. Manfred Mann, I Came for You

8. Marilyn Manson, Get Your Gun

9. Benny Mardones, Into the Night

10. Marky Mark, Wild Side

11. Ricky Martin, La Vida Loca

12. Richard Marx, Hazard

13. Matchbox 20, Real World

14. Dave Matthews, Don't Drink the Water

15. Paul Mauriat, Love Is Blue

16. CW McCall, Convoy

17. Paul McCartney, Jet

18. Michael McDonald, Sweet Freedom

19. Bob & Doug McKenzie, Great White North

20. Don McLean, Crying

21. Meatloaf, All Revved Up

22. Megadeth, Symphony of Destruction

23. Randy Meisner, Hearts on Fire

24. Men at Work, Overkill

25. Men without Hats, Safety Dance

26. Metal Elvis, Burning Love

27. Metallica, Four Horsemen

28. Bette Midler, The Wind Beneath My Wings

29. Mike & the Mechanics, All I Need Is a Miracle

30. Milla, The Gentleman who Fell

31. Steve Miller, Jungle Love

32. Frank Mills, Music Box Dancer

33. Ministry, Scarecrow

34. Missing Persons, Words

35. Moby, That's when I Reach for my Revolver

36. Mocedades, Eres Tu

37. Molly Hatchet, Flirting with Disaster

38. Eddie Money, I Wanna Go Back

39. Monkeys, I'm a Believer

40. Monster Magnet, Space Lord

41. Moody Blues, The Voice

42. Motels, Only the Lonely

43. Mother Love Bone, Crown of Thorns

44. Motley Crue, Helter Skelter

45. Motorhead, Ace of Spades

46. Mouth & McNeil, How Do You Do?

47. Moving Pictures, What about Me?

48. Shawn Mullins, Lullaby

49. Eddie Murphy, Party All the Time

Links above are from Youtube


Leave a comment below with your opinion on this topic. I would love to hear from you and incase you have a favorite song that works for you as you play chess. Let us know.

Titus Mwangi 17 July, 2021
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