This is another prompt that WordPress had suggested – and yes, I definitely can get work done while music is playing, except it’ll depend on what kind of music.
If I have to do work where I need to concentrate and pay attention, then I’ll listen to either scores, modern classical or down-tempo electronic stuff. For instance, right now in my iPod for work, I have Aaron Desplant’s Birth soundtrack, Aaron Zimmer’s score to Sex and the City, Alan Silvestri’s score to Forrest Gump, Badly Drawn Boy’s soundtrack to About a Boy, Christophe Beck’s scores to Buffy, the Vampire Slayer; Unde the Tuscan Sun and Year of the Dog; Christopher Gunning’s score to Rosemary & Thyme, Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s soundtrack to Pride and Prejudice, and I’ve been on a Moby kick lately so I have his Destroyed, Last Night, Play, Play: The B-Sides, Wait for Me, Wait for Me: The Remixes, 18, 18: The B-Sides as well as various soundtrack contributions, Patrick Doyle’s score to Sense and Sensibility, Rachel Portman’s scores to The Joy Luck Club, Beloved and Emma and Yann Tiersen’s soundtarck to Amelie.
If I listen to pop music with vocals, I can get distracted as I’ll start listening to the lyrics (sometimes I’ll even start singing to them outloud), and I won’t be able to work.
But when I work, I need the music on in the background – I find the quiet office to be a bit maddening.