Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Muzak :: Personal Narrative Papers
Muzak Ã .a true storyÃ So there I was last year, walking through the supermarket on an afternoon like any other, trying to get everything I needed: Ã picking over the vegetables, as out of a murky fog, I realized that my foot was tapping out a sonorous beat, apparently out of my concentration. What's more amazing, I now see, is that the lazy rhythm from my foot matches a melody which has been ringing behind my thoughts as I decided what kind of onions to buy&emdash;also without me being fully aware of it. All of a sudden, a minor physical revulsion causes me to set down my basket on the produce, my body trying to exorcise this foreign invasion. What is this thing? And that tune! It sounds like a watered-down version of Eric Clapton's acoustic "Layla", terribly deflated and played by a bunch of sixty-year-old orchestra players&emdash;I am still not too sure. But it will not seem to go awayÃ .the soothing sounds turn malicious as they bounce off the walls of the nutrition center, the meat department, housewares. Everyone I see is milling around like before, are they hearing what fills my ears? Is that same insidious song playi ng with their minds? Now that I focus on the music rambling from the loudspeaker in the ceiling, it appears as if they are all part of a silent movie&emdash;acting against a separate, unrelated soundtrack. When I first started exploring background music, I came to realize that the issue involves much more than those whiny songs wafting from crappy mono speakers in department stores. It stretches far beyond these simple associations, significantly affecting the changing workplace and worker control, as well as the site of consumption and consumer control. Muzak is now a tool widely used around the world&emdash;liked by most people, revered by some, and detested by others. That's Muzak, not 'muzak' It is important to understand here that Muzak is not just another term for background (or, annoying) music; it should not be confused with the numerous impostors which play in elevators and the like. It is the name of an American corporation and its sophisticated business programming . As one of its brochures explains succinctly, "The raw material of Muzak is music." And why is music unable to achieve the same results as their product? Because music is art, but Muzak it science. And when you employ the science of Muzak: in an office, workers tend to get more done, more efficiently, and felt happier.