Hate Piped Music (Muzak)? You are not alone.
Extract from The Lady Magazine - Time to Pull the Plug on Piped Music
It's a modern plague, filling our ears with needless nonsense.Written by Nigel Rogers
What do Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry, Prunella Scales, Lesley Garrett, Julian Lloyd Webber and Simon Rattle have in common? They all hate piped music and all support Pipedown, the campaign for freedom from piped music.
They’re not alone in detesting this acoustic pollution. Millions of people hate such music, which can often be inescapable. Go into a hotel and piped music will be flooding the lobby; it fills the restaurants; it is played in lifts – one of its names is ‘elevator music’ – and in corridors; it is even tinkling away in the lavatories.
Hellishly ubiquitous, it goes on forever, unlike live music whose players pause for breath or for drinks, and which is seldom relayed far. (‘Piped music’ does not refer to a type of music but to any music piped or relayed around a room or building where people go for reasons other than listening to it.) The same unwanted music fills shops, restaurants, pubs, even parks.
And if you protest, you can be made to feel a tone-deaf killjoy in a minority of one. ‘You are the only person to complain,’ is a common response. It is also rubbish. Impartial opinion polls show that those who loathe piped music outnumber those who like it. But often people do not like to complain and slip away quietly.
People who notice it with real pain include that large minority – one in six – with hearing problems. They find it impossible to hear conversations against piped music.
Musicians find it a pain in the ear because they invariably listen to music, while music teachers hate it because it is hard to get students sated with non-stop music to listen properly at all.
And for people lying immobilised in hospitals, piped music or television can be torture.