It’s here…the mince pies have been gloriously consumed, the mulled wine adored, and now it is time to settle back into University. Cue essays, exams, but before that, revision.

I’ve often thought that if David Attenborough narrated my life, then it would sound a darn sight more interesting than it actually is. This then got me thinking, what are the best soundtracks to revise to?

It’s been scientifically explored whether listening to music with lyrics enhances or hinders your revision and essay writing. I can support this from past experience. Note: never write an essay on Romantic poetry while listening to Eminem in the background, there are some things that Wordsworth should not be associated with, and the Slim shady is one of them.

So, are you a Lord of the Rings buff? A Harry Potter die-hard? Would you rather listen to the Transformers soundtrack, or is Disney more your thing? I’m bringing you 5 options that if my iTunes could speak, it would say ‘PLEASE stop her repeating The Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.’


5. Pirates of the Caribbean, Klaus Badelt.
Klaus Badelt’s compositions featured on the first of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean film fest. Including the famous ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ tune, notorious for accompanying Johnny Depp on his sinking ship, this soundtrack ranges from the exotic to the typically ‘pirate.’ Through the lack of lyrics but exciting use of musical themes and techniques, Badelt composes music that is soothing but enticing, perfect if you want to feel like you’re abroad in the Caribbean, when in fact you’re studying the complete theories of Darwin..


4. Harry Gregson-Williams, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Combining elements of music with no vocals, with pieces with vocals, Gregson-Williams composes a soundtrack that is ideal if you’re looking for reflective music, with triumphant music to finish off the soundtrack. Whether it’s telling the story of Lucy, Mr Tumnus or the unexpected arrival of Father Christmas, if it is uplifting music your ears are yearning for, then why not give Narnia a go. Who knows, a witch’s presence could make revising all the more exciting.


3. The Dark Knight, Hans Zimmer.

No list of composers would be complete with the genius that is Hans Zimmer. Whether he’s pulling our heartstrings from his piece ‘Maestro’ from feel good film The Holiday, or doing what he does best, composing dramatic music scores for even more dramatic movie scenes, Zimmer excels in formulating a memorable soundtrack. Collaborating for The Dark Knight soundtrack with James Newton Howard, the Dark Knight combines dramatic, heavy musical accompaniment with undertones of soft, quiet and calm. The perfect combination for revision and essay writing.


2. V for Vendetta, Dario Marianelli.

With an epic film comes an epic soundtrack. Marianelli excels in creating just enough musical accompaniment to support the motion picture, without distracting from it. With a cast including the likes of Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman, V for Vendetta is a film that leaves you thinking, and the soundtrack is no different. If you’re yet to see this film, perhaps you can arrange for a V for Vendetta film night…once you’ve written those essays and put the pens down in your last exam. For now however, let Marianelli and the inclusion of some guest artists guide the way through the murky revision waters.


1. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.

Of course. The final suggestion for soundtrack heaven is none other than The Lord Of The Rings. Personally, my revision playlist would not be complete with Enya’s sublime ‘May it be.’ Subtle, comforting and smooth, ‘May it be’ is the perfect backdrop for revision and essay composition. Even if you’ve studied/are studying Music and cannot help but pick apart the melodies and determine the chord sequences (like A level music has eternally left me doing), this soundtrack allows you to do so without hindering your revision process.

If you’re more of a Hobbit fan, why not download The Hobbit? I don’t know about you, but having Richard Armitage singing ‘Misty Mountains’ on repeat in the background, always seems to help my reading and revision process…I wonder why.


So these are my suggestions for soundtrack success. If you’re after something triumphant and dramatic, you have Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy soundtrack (so close to making it on this list), or something slow and reflective, Hans Zimmer’s The Holiday is an option.

Whatever your taste in music, films, and soundtrack is like, make revision and essay writing that bit easier with some music that can mentally transport you to the Caribbean, Narnia, Mordor, or even the Shire, I promise it’ll ease the burden of revision. What will the soundtrack to your revision be?

If you’ve enjoyed this post, feel free to comment below. Think I’ve missed some brilliant soundtracks? Comment your thoughts below.