From Wikipedia - Work Songs
Definitions and categories
Records of work songs are as old as historical records, and anthropological evidence suggests that most agrarian societies tend to have them. Most modern commentators on work songs have included both songs sung while working as well as songs about work since the two categories are seen as interconnected. Norm Cohen divided collected work songs into domestic, agricultural or pastoral, sea shanties, African-American work songs, songs and chants of direction, and street cries. Ted Gioia further divided agricultural and pastoral songs into hunting, cultivation and herding songs, and highlighted the industrial or proto-industrial songs of cloth workers (see Waulking song), factory workers, seamen, lumberjacks, cowboys and miners. He also added prisoner songs and modern work songs.
Last night I downloaded TikTok, in part to see what the buzz was about sea chantys (chanties?)
There has been a lot of discussion around the 'net about sea chantys, but that wasn't the only area of work that had songs/music to make the work flow more easily.
Textiles had many songs, the best known now probably the waulking songs (fulling the wool).
Human beings have used music since the dawn of time to make work easier, especially work done in concert with others. The timing/beat of the music kept people moving together, co-ordinated. And when you get lost in the music, even if just for a few minutes, you can forget the labour you are doing. Especially repetitive labour.
Music was part of my life for as long as I can remember. My father played the fiddle when he was younger and mom whistled and sang while she worked. The radio played music pretty much non-stop and if talk radio came on, she might play a record. (Yes, I'm old enough I remember bakelite 78 rpms, then vinyl 33 and 1/3s, then 45s.) Before I attended school I pestered my parents to buy me an accordion. They scraped the money together to buy me the pint sized RED one in the window of the music store and paid for the lessons. I played until I was around 10 years old, until I started ballet. I could do one or the other, the budget would not strain to provide both.
My mother inherited her father's collection of 78s and eventually donated them to a local radio host who collected all manner of recordings.
Personally I still have cassettes and CDs and actually prefer them. They are time limited and I use them to set out a period of time to work. When the music stops, I go take a break from the studio.
If young people are finding sea chantys fun, they might like to look at the music of other labour intensive professions.