Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Daily Mall Reader: Muzak

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

But It's Good for You

TIME Magazine - Friday, Aug. 30, 1963

(Excerpt) The music darts into the ear, does its subtle job in the subcortex of the brain, then slips out the other ear without saying goodbye. The listener is all but unaware that he has heard anything, but the music has sloshed around inside his head, and, relieved of the humdrum business of thinking, he feels better immediately. His mouth smiles. He likes his work, loves his wife, spends his money. The only thing he has to fear is silence, but thanks to a company called Muzak and its many imitators in the background music business, he has nothing to worry about. Loudspeakers are everywhere.

The total musication of America is by now almost complete. Muzak gets the credit for being the biggest noise maker of all, a feat that brings in $15,000,000 a year from its 30,000 subscribers. The soft comforting sounds that ooze from Muzak's speakers are heard each day by more than 60 million peopleā€”in hospitals and mortuaries, elevators and space capsules, prisons and jute mills.

Read the full article here.



3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

An article about Muzak...
Awesome!

This is why I love this blog. :-)

Thu Nov 30, 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Unfortunately the 'muzak' you hear nowadays is the same vocalized material you hear on the radio or on CD. On occasion, I'll still come upon a store or mall that hasn't quite 'gotten with the times' musically, so it's suprsing to me when I do hear what is considered 'muzak' still being piped throughout the mall.

Before the 1990s, their service consisted of converting (or re-recording) various tunes into instrumentalized versions. These re-done tracks were what you would hear piped throughout the mall interiors and departemnt stores back in those days.

They had several different music sets, though most malls used various 'lite pop' or 'adult contemporary' playlists, so you would hear the likes of whatever was popular on AM radio in the 1970s.

Fri Dec 01, 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ninja Murasaki said...

I saw a Muzak machine at Woodfield Mall a few months ago. It looked dusty. I guess they don't use it anymore, but it was cool seeing it.

Sun Dec 03, 01:15:00 AM  

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