the term Muzak is a lautlich changed version of the English word for music (“music”). Music is named, which is usually used in elevators , department stores , hotels and some working environments with usually rearrangierter music to the continuous sprinkling.

It concerns thereby functional music, which are not consciously noticed by the listener, but tune it cheerfully and is to create a relaxed atmosphere.

In department stores it has usually the speed of the human pulse impact. Without singing usually one does, around to that listeners not too much attention abzuverlangen here. The volumelies only slightly over the noise level of the environment. Without dissonances completely one does. The acoustic irradiation been made often indirectly by several highly attached loudspeakers and can be loud noticed in such a way within each range of the taped area equal.

Often also as department store music or elevator music designation, that becomesTerm also devaluing for particularly simple or shallow music uses.

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Muzak as epitome of the functional music is designated after the American company Muzak Inc.. 1922 basedthe US-American general A. D. George Owen Squier, which was in the First World War a boss of the American message corps and itself strongly for the application type at that time of again arising means of communication telephone and radio interested, the company “Wired radio”, late in Muzak Inc. one renamed. The namea combination of the word is “music” and “Kodak”, the rising enterprise, which admired Squier.

The year of the foundation of the enterprise refers culture-historically to one period of large technical innovations and thus accompanying general technique euphoria. This found for instance in the literature in the current of the Futurismus its precipitation, duringit in the social surrounding field under the key word social engineering on the methodical control of staffs and customers, at which rationalization of movement and operational sequences aimed. On the easement of nerve-killing assembly line work for instance the Muzak Slogan “Boring was work is larva less boring with boring music” gemünzt.

Of Muzak the Inc. in the 1950er and 1960er years exerted efforts to the “scientific” Untermauerung of the effectiveness of its concept (S. Section “effect”) are called today of their own firm speakers marketing Gag. Nevertheless met the firm concept in the center 20. Century one in the westernSocieties prescription ion attitude spread and could therefore “function”.

Approximately the fundamental change of the Musikrezeption inserting into the 1970er years in particular one ever more strongly into the foreground of the public perception urgent youth generation the Muzak concept than consumersupporting marketing brought itself - to instrument to its borders. The Seichtigkeit and arbitrarynessconsciously each attention of an avoiding music conception was subject to the competition with a before in such a way not known active Musikrezeption, with which over the preferential music direction now also a certain life attitude began to express itself. One as Muzak of its substance emptied pseudo music could not exist before this prescription ion attitude andoperated itself even into its opposite: Instead of working calming and compensatorily, Muzak Gedudel created due to the unsatisfied aesthetic expectation attitude of the recipients now even aggressions.

The break with the Muzak concept presses itself in the advertisement outgoing 20. Century enormously in the circumstance out that the advertisementnow consciously original-left music as tendency instrument begins, whereby usual hit parade melodies are not only used, but z. T. from the musical Untermalung of an advertising spot new hits develop even in reverse. Still more incompatibly with Muzak is the use not only in-usual classical melodies, but even more fastidiously, onthe borders of the tonality penetrating modern classical author such as Carl OrffsCarmina Burana “.

excursion: Branded Entertainment

those almost paradoxes development of one in the advertising surrounding field of the advertisement emanzipierenden themselves music find their logical continuation in the alliances between art and economics, thosesince the turn to 21. Century strengthened to be observed are and as Branded Entertainment be designated. Business enterprises step to prominent artists near, in order to make itself their radiant emittance and entrance to certain target groups. As examples from the years 2004 and 2005 are mentioned:

  • DaimlerChrysler acquired the right for its mark Mercedes of the singer Christina Aguilera to offer their song “Hello” for the Download on the Internet sides of the company on which the new notice-the-AClets is presented. The other rights of exploitation at the song remained standing unaffected by it and further for the singerand/or. the enterprises of the music industry assigned by him too.
  • The Popgruppe Destiny's Child connected itself for one year contractually with McDonald's. The world tour of the group plays Destiny with the slogan “fulfilled - and lovin' it” clearly on the Slogan of the Fastfood chain “I'm lovin' it”on. While the musicians on their route put Logo and products out of their sponsor prominent, McDonald's operates in response active graduation for the group on the stations of its tour.
  • Director spike Lee turned a Kurzfilm on behalf of BMW, that on the film festivals of Cannes2004 aesthetically convinced. The film produces a certain urbanes life feeling, whereby a vehicle of the enterprise placing the sales order appears rather coincidental. BMW does thereby without each plakative advertising message. The mark profits rather from the aesthetic gloss of the film work of art, which can be considered as unusually sublimated form of advertisement.


the functional aspect of Muzak exists in the purposeful change of acoustic conditions in the respective place of work into a certain direction wished by the client. Muzak serves z. B. both the overlay of disturbing ambient noise and the avoidance of an unwanted, because as oppressively feltSilence. Motivated this change always is by the tendency, the tendency and feeling situation of humans, who are (often coincidentally) in a certain environment steer in a positive direction and stop and make them sensitive to other messages in such a way staying. Very frequentlyit concerns with these messages advertising messages, which are to stimulate humans on the consumption. In addition, Muzak is used - in particular in the USA or in Canada - in the public area, in order to affect Passanten psychoakustisch (aggression-restraining).

In Hamburg the acoustic irradiation serves of theMain station with classical music to politically wanted driving itself of the Junkie out concentrating there in former times - scene. June gravel by that one signals to its scene strange sound carpet to be at the “wrong” place which - together with order-police measures - actual a driving of the scene outfrom the direct station surrounding field caused. Also different cities, took over this model about Munich.

Muzak is produced either purposefully for a certain targeted application, or this concerns music, which was composed with another motivation, is used but after appropriate arranging as Muzak.Exemplary are for Elise of Ludwig van Beethoven and the four seasons of Antonio Vivaldi mentioned. Often thereby interpretations of such works in the style of the popular classical period are used. The demand for a music, which should be “heard but emergency listened tons”, leads to the fact that Muzak arrangementspure practically without exception instrument valley music actual sung texts a too strong attention on itself would draw and thus their intended effect would miss.

see also

Easy Listening, Ambient, music sociology, music psychology, music aesthetics

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