Re: Bibliography on background music effects (EH )

Subject: Re: Bibliography on background music effects
From:    EH  <eliot(at)GENERATION.NET>
Date:    Mon, 16 Mar 1998 23:07:17 -0500

Garcia De La Fuente wrote: > > I wonder if someone could guide me into some kind o bibliography/places to > find information about the different effects of background/"elevator" > music on the behaviour/perception of people. > The effect is highly irritating. I realize that this can count only as anecdotal evidence, but having once looked into this matter I'd like to suggest that the idea that quantifiable effects obtain with junk music played at marginally noticeable levels is basically trumped-up nonsense generated by the elevator music industry and supported by well-meaning but misguided popular mythologies, including a completely misguided interpretation of subliminal perception as used in advertising. When one is considering the "effects" of music I think it's always best to first of all establish a sociological frame of reference. Adorno tried this, in his Introduction to the Sociology of Music, and his remarks a propos what he called the "entertainment listener" are still appropriate. For such a listener, he wrote, music is like smoking, noticed only upon extinction. This is the sort of listener studied by Muzak Inc. and the rest of them.

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Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University