Slowed and reverbed music soothes listeners

DJ Screw, the inventor of chopped and screwed music.

Background noise while studying is a necessity for most students. Many turn to slowed and reverbed music to help set a pace for their work. The carefully mixed music creates a peaceful environment that allows optimal concentration levels. It fills in the heavy silence that settles in the room in between the flipping of textbook pages and the sound of typing on a keyboard. 

Personally, listening to slowed and reverbed music that I find on Soundcloud and YouTube allows me to work more efficiently. This specific type of music entails “the remixing style of which someone will slow down a song to anywhere between 80 and 90 percent speed” and was heavily popularized by Slater. Slater was heavily inspired by DJ Screw, who is credited with inventing the predecessor of slowed and reverbed music: chopped and screwed. Music that has been chopped and screwed is  slowed to 60 to 70 percent of the normal speed. Slowed and reverbed music emulates the slower pace of chopped and screwed music but lacks the “chopped” aspect, which includes cuts in the music and occasional record scratches. 

Slowed and reverbed music brings a fresh approach to familiar songs. The slowed nature amplifies already established themes in the music. This is acknowledged in the titles of slowed and reverbed songs, like a slowed and reverbed version of “Somebody Else” by The 1975 which is described to be “even more heartbreaking.” The lyrics of the song are still the most prominent aspect of the music, but the remixed version allows listeners to appreciate the instrumentals. I find slowed and reverbed versions of songs to be easier to listen to while doing assignments because they aren’t overstimulating and leave room to think. 

Slowed and reverbed music provides listeners with a calmer version of music that typically has more of an upbeat feeling. Rap songs and hip-hop songs that are slowed and reverbed can take on completely different interpretations once they have been slowed and reverbed. These themes are often accompanied by fitting visuals when they are uploaded to YouTube. Animations displaying slowed movements of cartoon characters are shown as a loop while the song plays and acts out the emotions of the music. 

There are no limits to what songs can be slowed and reverbed. When done right, the result is a peaceful and melancholic tune that embraces listeners. 

By Bhalpriya Sandhu, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of The Guardian