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Word Count: 444
Muzak Muzak creates experiences by capturing the emotional power of music and putting it to work for different types of businesses in diverse market segments For anyone living in the world today background art and music are virtually unavoidable Public and business spaces are often saturated with visual and aural stimulation It is important to understand that Muzak is not simply another term for background music but the name of an American corporation and the indicator of something more sophisticated at work Muzak is scientifically engineered sound - functional music rather than entertainment It affects those who hear it but does not require a conscious listening effort The Muzak Corporation call themselves specialists in the physiological and psychological effects and applications of music and they draw on the use of a programmed environment for applications in offices factories banks and shops etc The key to Muzaks effectiveness is Stimulus Progression a system which provides people with a psychological lift A subconscious sense of forward movement achieved through programming sound in blocks For me the intentions of background music are openly political and an example of how political power is constantly shifting from the ballot box into areas where the voter has nowhere to mark his ballot paper The most important political choices in the future will probably never be consciously exercised Im intrigued by the way some background music is surprisingly aggressive especially that played on consumer complaint lines and banks airlines and phone companies themselveswith strident non-rhythmic and arms-length sequences that are definitely not user friendly Lanza 148 To understand the wider implications of Muzak background music it is necessary to return for a moment to their root pure music and attempt a definition What music provides the listener with are not feelings of his or her own or the composers but an insight into feelings A given work of music is seen as a symbol However if it
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