Sunday, February 15, 2009

Muzak to be heard not listened to

"Music to be heard but not listened to --a new kind of music whose vitalizing influence subliminally satisfies the desire for sweet music."

So says an article in the KHOL-TV (now KHGI) Telecaster of August 15, 1960.

The headline reads "Muzak Music Emblem Symbolizes Quality."

Of course, now the headlines say "Muzak Files for Bankruptcy" -- just check out the links on Google News.

As synonymous as Muzak is with "elevator music" and soulless, bland background music, it's hard to think of a time when some wouldn't play pop music in their stores because it was too "irritating" (keep reading). But now we're bombarded with the likes of Lil' Wayne, Soulja Boy, and (shudder) Nickelback when we're grabbing a sandwich or shopping for trash bags.

Continuing in the 1960 promotional piece, it says "Muzak is functionally planned and specially recorded music that soothes nervous tensions and fosters the friendly feelings of customers and employees alike."

"Muzak dose not require active listening. It filters the irritating noises of the modern age. Customers feel better, more relaxed and more congenial when they're surrounded by Music by Muzak."

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