Music to Code By is an album of music, not generated by technology, but, rather, specifically created to be listened to while creating technology. Professional musician and software developer Carl Franklin composed the album for programmers who like to listen to music when coding; it consists of three tracks, each 25 minutes long so they fit in with the Pomodoro Technique that some developers use to manage their time.
To Franklin, programming and making music have more in common than most people might suspect. “I can see how certain aspects of music - notation, practicing, expression, etc. - are all means of manipulating abstractions, much like language and very much like software development,” he told me.
Of course, writing music meant to be listened while programming is a bit different from creating music meant to be listened to just for fun. “The biggest challenge was dialing back my instinct to make real music,” Franklin said. “This had to fade into the background. It couldn't distract the listener, but it couldn't be boring either. That was a particular challenge that I think most musicians would have found maddening.”
You can download a digital version of Music to Code By, which was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, for $18, or buy a CD of it, which includes the downloadable version for $20. You can also buy and download 5 individual additional tracks that Franklin has composed and recorded since the album was first released. Hard core programmers, of course, will want to write a script to do the downloading.