Music to suit our moods all day and all of the night: Researchers pinpoint best soundtrack for time of day…with Madness and the Monkees good for mornings while Eric Clapton and Moby are perfect at night
- Researchers have put together the ideal full-day soundtrack to boost your mood
- They analysed more than two billion songs to put together the right combination
- Energetic songs get us going in the morning but slower tracks are better at night
Looking for a Perfect Day? Spring out of bed to ska, stick on Abba in the afternoon and go to bed with Layla.
Researchers have analysed more than two billion songs to provide the ideal soundtrack… With A Little Help from their friends at Spotify.
Unsurprisingly, they found energetic, cheery tunes get us going in the morning, while slower tracks are best before bedtime – but the experts actually pinpointed changing tastes across five periods of the day.
Dr Ole Heggli from Aarhus University in Denmark, who led the study of songs listened to by Spotify users, said: ‘Relatively slow, yet still energetic music in the morning can help to wake up properly, or provide a nice background to the morning commute’
Their ideal playlist begins with tracks including I’m A Believer by The Monkees and Our House by Madness.
After a midday lull in tempo from noon to 2pm, danceable tracks – such as Mamma Mia, or Summer Nights from the musical Grease – provide a much-needed post-lunch lift.
Eric Clapton’s Layla or Moby’s Porcelain work best at night, while Prince’s Purple Rain or Meat Loaf’s I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) are most well-received in the early hours.
Dr Ole Heggli from Aarhus University in Denmark, who led the study of songs listened to by Spotify users, said: ‘People want different things from songs at different times.
After a midday lull in tempo from noon to 2pm, danceable tracks provide a much-needed post-lunch lift
‘Relatively slow, yet still energetic music in the morning can help to wake up properly, or provide a nice background to the morning commute.
‘Louder, faster songs in the afternoon could provide an energy boost to get through those post-lunch hours, while people probably want danceable songs with a clear beat in the evening because they are in a party mood.’
The Spotify database used by the researchers classifies music based on features like its ‘bounciness’, ‘danceability’, tempo and beat.
A computer algorithm allowed the songs people actually listened to, without skipping them, to be arranged into those most popular at different times of the day.
A clear pattern appeared, with people listening to more happy, euphoric and energetic songs in the morning period between 8am and midday.
After a midday lull from noon to 2pm in the tempo and danceability of music people played, the preferred afternoon soundtrack was danceable with a good beat.
A typical playlist in this ‘afternoon’ period from midday until 8pm might include crowd-pleaser Summer Nights from the musical Grease.
After a midday lull in tempo from noon to 2pm, danceable tracks – such as Mamma Mia, or Summer Nights from the musical Grease – provide a much-needed post-lunch lift
Songs were fastest in their tempo, bounciest and most ‘party-like’ during the evening – a period found to last from 8pm to 11pm on weekdays but right up until 3am at the weekend.
Night-time then presented a mix of fast and slow songs, perceived to be less loud.
Dr Heggli said: ‘Perhaps some people are dancing the night away, while others just want to sleep.’
On the early-hours choices, between 4am and 6am, the lead researcher said: ‘This period is characterised by soft and organic songs with a low tempo.
‘Those people returning home from a night out will need to wind down a bit, while very early risers are likely to want a soft start to the day.’
The researchers have created a test for people to analyse the best time of day for their own playlists, which they tried out on 253 people.
Almost two-thirds of playlists were preferred by people at the times they were best suited for.