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Classical Notes: July 15, 2006 Archive

Not your father's Muzak

Posted at 3:20 AM on July 15, 2006 by John Zech (2 Comments)
Filed under: The blog

We tend to call any background music "Muzak," but the Muzak name is the brand for a 70 year-old marketing company that now uses "audio architects" to design musical backgrounds for some 400,000 clients ranging from Dunkin' Donuts to the DSW shoe outlet to Bank of America.
They are very sophisticated, as the Christian Science Monitor just reported.

On another note, in the summer of 1980 there was a festival in Minneapolis called "New Music America." Besides David Byrne of the Talking Heads, another rock musician represented at the festival was Brian Eno. Eno had been so irritated by the inane, chirpy "muzak" he heard while traveling that he composed a soothing ambient synthesizer score he called “Music for Airports.” Appropriately enough, during the 8 days of the Festival, Eno’s score was broadcast 24 hours a day throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

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