I always call this kind of background music “muzak” but I didn’t know until today that Muzak is a brand name of background music. It’s been a brand since 1954 with several different channels that mostly use original artists to create the music.
Do you mind music in a shop or a restaurant while you’re in there? It might depend on volume or the type. I don’t mind it much when I’m out in public shops.
There is pushback for music in public places – some societies are reaching for the quiet instead. I wonder what that looks like. Pipedown in the UK is one such organization and they seem to be marketing it as noise pollution.
The other place we hear a lot of piped music is music on hold – every time we’re on hold for a telephone it feels like we have some sort of music with “Thank you for calling. Your call is important to us. You are number (pause) 6 (pause) in the wait.”
Companies are out there to market this to everyone who needs to keep people on hold. I find that’s more annoying than elevator music, but there is that idea that it keeps the customer engaged while they need to wait. Better than total silence? I think that’s a matter of opinion.
What are your feelings on elevator music? Does it make you want to leave public spaces? Does the music on hold make you want to hang up the phone? Or are you engaged more because there’s something there? I would love to know.