Listening to music while working has long been linked to increased productivity and concentration. Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, found that listening to music helped subjects concentrate and complete tasks more quickly in a controlled study. Music listeners also reported being in a better mood and having more creative ideas.

But there are certain tunes that can maximize this positive correlation. Film scores, for example, are composed with the intention to keep audiences engaged and in-the-moment without being too distracting. As long as they're not too evocative--listening to the Star Wars theme is bound to summon Han Solo reveries--they can be a major aide to focus. The following original movie scores strike just the right balance to turn even the drabbest workday into a productive session of cinematic proportions.  


Christopher Nolan's lucid-dreaming saga didn't put anyone to sleep when it came out in 2010, thanks in large part to Hans Zimmer's mesmerizing score. Zimmer was also responsible for the equally epic score to this year's Interstellar.

The Social Network

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and composer Atticus Ross won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for scoring this David Fincher film based on Facebook's early beginnings, making it the perfect soundtrack for entrepreneurs aspiring to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.


David Bowie's son directed this indie British sci-fi film with a score by composer Clint Mansell, known for his dark ambient sound. Moon replaces the typical space explosions with trippy, introspective scenes.

Lawrence of Arabia

For something a little more down-to-earth, get acquainted with Maurice Jarre, one of the most sought-after composers during Hollywood's Golden Age.

Cloud Atlas

Composers Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil believed this powerful orchestra could stand the test of time. Their music became an integral part of the plot in the time-hopping fantasy film Cloud Atlas.

Tron: Legacy

French duo Daft Punk were tasked with updating the sound of the popular Tron franchise for the 2010 film adaptation, creating a uniquely textured electronic soundscape.


To make an inspiring score, sometimes all it takes is a piano. This was proven by Yann Tiersen, composer of the memorable Amélie score.

The Bourne Identity

There is perhaps no cooler job than that of a secret spy. Composer John Powell brings that element to your desk job with this understated score for The Bourne Identity.

Bonus: The Knick 

Technically not a "film score," but as television shows become more sophisticated, their music is following suit. Cliff Martinez composed the score for the Showtime series The Knick, which was directed by big Hollywood player Steven Soderbergh.