Do You Listen to Music While Drafting Contracts?

I saw this tweet a couple of days ago:

It prompted the following thoughts: Do you listen to music while drafting? If so, what do you listen to?

I don’t, at least not while engaged in the task. Instead, I sometimes use music to take a break. Jas’s mentioning that piece from Game of Thrones reminded me that at for a few days the House of Cards soundtrack was my break music of choice. (Go here for a ten-minute extended mix on YouTube.) I reckon “haunting” would be a good word for that piece too.

And of course, this morning I see the following on TweetDeck:

Music for Contract Drafting

So music and contract drafting might be a thing …

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

7 thoughts on “Do You Listen to Music While Drafting Contracts?”

  1. No, but I have a couple of candidates:

    Steve Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” to remind us of the traditional way of executing a contract as a deed (specialty).

    Or for Karen Carpenter fans, who can get out of their heads a memory of her singing “Shall (la la la la, oh woe, woe, woe, woe, woe)” to remind us how to express language of obligation?

  2. I listen to a variety of music while working. It helps me get in the zone and really get words on paper. If I’m editing and putting a finer point on things, I may take the headphones out.

    What I can’t do, though, is listen to talk radio. That makes me feel like I’m listening to two conversations at once. I have coworkers who do it, but I can’t.

  3. Ken:

    I used to, but then I read studies showing that music measurably distracted attention from difficult tasks (in artificial study settings). Now I only do if I need to drown out something worse.


  4. I like the idea of working to music while drafting, but find that I don’t concentrate as well with it on so I usually opt for silence.

  5. I used to work in silence because any music would be distracting. Then, when I moved into a shared office space, I needed something to drown out the noise of others talking. I started listening to rap and hip hop, which, surprisingly has helped me write contracts with increased brevity due to wordplay in the lyrics. It is also extremely motivating.

  6. I can only listen to certain genres. Most I find distracting. If it fades into the background and keeps my foot tapping, though, I find music sometimes actually helps me concentrate, especially at the end of a long day. My favorites are down-tempo, instrumental house/trance (e.g., google “Jet City Lounge”) and bluegrass.

  7. I will listen to electronica, Bach, Bjork, old Melvins… ‘methodical’ stuff with no or few words. Unless we’re talking personal canon, where the words don’t distract because I know them so well.


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