Listening to happy music while working may spark the kind of divergent thinking that’s associated with creativity and problem solving, a recent study in the Netherlands suggests. In particular, classical music that ranks highly for positive and energetic qualities, such as pieces composed by Antonio Vivaldi, were most likely to encourage creative thinking, researchers found. “Creativity is one of the core skills needed for dealing with a world that is changing faster than ever before,” said study coauthor Sam Ferguson of the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. “Knowledge about ways to facilitate this important skill is becoming more critical,” he told Reuters Health by email. Ferguson and Simone Ritter of Radboud University Nijmegen played classical music for 155 Radboud student volunteers as they completed a creativity task. The researchers split the students into five groups, with each group randomly assigned to listen to one of four pieces of music or to silence before...

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