Rag ‘n’ Bone Man set to claim number one with debut album




Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s first album, Human, looks set to claim the number one spot just days after its release.

The Sussex-born singer-songwriter and Brits Critics’ Choice winner’s debut collection has already sold more than 70,000 copies since it hit the shelves on Friday.

A top spot this week would mark a special victory for the singer, real name Rory Graham, whose single of the same name peaked at number two last year.




Rag 'n' Bone Man.
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man (Matt Crossick/PA)

Another newcomer, Rip It Up by Thunder, is seeing success as it heads for second place, followed by Little Fictions by Elbow in third, One Foot Out by Nines in fourth and the La La Land film soundtrack in fifth.

Meanwhile, it looks like Ed Sheeran’s reign over the singles chart is facing competition.

While his recent track Shape Of You remains on top, it looks like Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s signature Human could be climbing back to its number two spot, bumping Sheeran’s Castle On The Hill into third.




Ed's tracks had dominated the top two spots.
Ed’s tracks had dominated the top two spots (Matt Sayles/AP/PA)

You Don’t Know Me by Jax Jones ft Raye is currently standing in fourth place, followed by Zayn and Taylor Swift’s duet I Don’t Wanna Live Forever for the film Fifty Shades Darker, released last week.

The final results will be revealed on Friday by the Official Charts Company.




John Petrucci On Benefits of Learning Guitar in Digital Age





Gone are the days of old in which guitar players would try to meticulously emulate their favourite artists via a temperamental cassette and an unwavering sense of enthusiasm. Since the dawn of the digital age, players have been more exposed to more avenues of information than ever before, enabling them to access vast expanses of data at the click of a button.

Back before the age of the internet, techniques were often a speculative ordeal; partially due to the players inability to visually decipher quite often physically complex methods employed by up and coming virtuoso’s such as Eddie Van Halen or Joe Satriani.

In a recent interview with Cosmo music, John Petrucci spoke out about his plight as a young musician and the difficulties he experienced trying to imitate the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen.

” I remember just trying to learn all of those riffs. Slowing it down, putting the record on, putting it on the slower speed so it was like an octave lower. No tab back then! My friend had a cassette player that had a variable speed thing and I literally sat there and learned everyone one of those riffs-just practice them over and over and over and over. I did that with Di Meola and Allan Holdsworth.





Because you can’t see the person play, it wasn’t like Youtube. When you’re young and you’re listening to this, you don’t even know what you’re listening to. Let’s say you have delay on and you hear these kind of ghost notes and you’re like, ‘How do you play that?!'”

Further expanding upon how a new generation of guitarists are rightfully exploiting the benefits of the digital era, Petrucci stated:





” And now kids are getting really, really good at a really young age because they can see how all of this is done. Just look it up, ‘Oh that’s how you’re doing it.’ But back then, you just literally did not know what the technique was and you had to discover it. There was lot of listening over and over and over. ”

Photo credit to Claudio Poblete

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By Josh Hummerston



WIN a Peavey 6505 Piranha Micro Head & 1×8 Cabinet!





The Peavey 6505 Piranha Micro Head offers classic tones and compact design. The Piranha features a single tube to keep it lightweight and portable, whilst still producing high quality sounds. Designed to fit the Piranha 1×8 cabinet, the 6505 is compact enough for bedroom use whilst still being powerful enough for band rehearsals. The easy to use controls offer access to a diverse range of classic Peavey tones. The useful headphone jack is ideal for late night practice. For student musicians wanting a high gain amp head to develop with, the 6505 Piranha is an ideal choice.





The Peavey 6505 Piranha 1 x 8 Cabinet is the perfect addition to any rig. Its sturdy construction provides the optimum protection from the daily rigours of gigging, with its reinforced corners, metal grille, and rubber non-slip feet. Equipped with an 8 inch speaker, the 6505 Piranha offers 25 watts of output, giving you the ideal accessory for rehearsals, small gigs and studio use.

You can enter this competition by visiting our respective Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages and following the entry requirements, as stated on each social network. You can also email competition@gear4music.com with ‘Peavey 6505 Piranha Micro Head & 1×8 Cabinet’ as the email subject.

This competition closes at 12pm on the 27/02/2017 good luck!

For more information on terms and conditions please click here



Win a copy of Rip It Up – The New Album from Thunder





Thunder are back with their brand new album – Rip It Up and you could win yourself a copy right here! The album, released on 10th February features title track Rip It Up, Shakedown and nine other incredible tracks of hard rock.

Two years after the release of the Top 10 charting 2015 album, Wonder Days, the 11th album from Thunder does not disappoint. Recorded in 2016, the band continue to push itself and aim higher, meaning that this album is a must-listen for 2017.

Frontman and Planet Rock presenter, Danny Bowes, says: “After the positive reaction to Wonder Days we were very happy, and it justified the approach we took in the writing and recording. We decided to push it further on all fronts this time, to see what happened – and I think it shows in the writing and the individual performances. We couldn’t have made this album 10 or even 5 years ago as we weren’t good enough. We’re really looking forward to playing the new tunes live alongside the more established ones.”



The album is available for purchase now, and you can also check out the Deluxe 3CD edition which includes the band’s entire live set from the 100 Club.

Track Listing

  1. No One Gets Out Alive
  2. Rip It Up
  3. She Likes Cocaine
  4. Right From The Start
  5. Shakedown
  6. Heartbreak Hurricane
  7. In Another Life
  8. The Chosen One
  9. The Enemy Inside
  10. Tumbling Down
  11. There’s Always A Loser

Thunder are also heading on tour this March, where they will be ripping the stage up right across the UK. The tour is visiting the below venues, with tickets still available at selected venues:

  • 17 March 2017 – O2 Apollo, Manchester
  • 17 March 2017 – City Hall, Sheffield
  • 19 March 2017 – Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle
  • 21 March 2017 – De Montfort Hall, Leicester
  • 22 March 2017 – Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
  • 24 March 2017 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
  • 25 March 2017 – O2 Guildhall, Southampton
  • 26 March 2017 – Ipswich Regent, Ipswich
  • 28 March 2017 – Eventim Apollo, London
  • 30 March 2017 – Vicar Street, Dublin
  • 31 March 2017 – Mandela Hall, Belfast

Buy your tickets here.

For your chance to win 1 of 10 copies of Rip It Up just click here



Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah has been arranged into the most spine-tingling chamber piece




This might be the most passionate classical cover of the iconic song we’ve heard.

Among the many losses from the world of entertainment during 2016, in November we lost the inspiring singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.

In tribute, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has released a stunning recording of Cohen’s world-renowned track ‘Hallelujah’. The piece was performed at last night’s Bafta Awards in memory of the many talented people we lost last year.

In the music video below, the talented 17-year-old cellist performs the arrangement by film composer Tom Hodge alongside a chamber group in the famous Abbey Road Studios.



And if you want to listen to this recording again, you can download Sheku’s debut EP release here.




Are these the ten best brass players ever?




Some of the greatest ever trumpeters, trombonists, horn and tuba players make up our top 10. Do you agree?

“What makes a great brass player?” asks Catherine Bott on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music

Catherine has selected these ten metal maestros – each of them has created his or her own unique sound. Do you agree with her choices?

1
Christian Lindberg (born 1958) – trombonist
Lindberg has premiered more than 300 works for the trombone and recorded some 70 solo CDs. He was voted brass player of the 20th century alongside jazz giants Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong.




2
Pip Eastop (born 1958) – horn player




Eastop has been a professor of horn at the Royal Academy of Music since 1993 and at the Royal College of Music since 1995. He has held principal horn positions with major orchestras and is a master of the ‘natural horn’, which has no valves and requires superhuman lip control.
3
Wynton Marsalis (born 1961) – trumpeter




A huge champion of promoting classical music and jazz, often to young audiences. Marsalis has won nine Grammys in both genres, and his Blood on the Fields was the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
4
Joseph Alessi (born 1959) – trombonist




Alessi is the current Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and a fine soloist, noted for his particularly rich sound quality and virtuosic technical control.
5
Dennis Brain (1921-1957) – horn player
Brain singlehandedly popularised the horn as a solo instrument after the Second World War. With Herbert von Karajan and the Philharmonia Orchestra, he produced arguably the definitive recordings of Mozart’s horn concertos. Brain was killed when he crashed his car at the age of 36.
6
Maurice André (1933-2012) – trumpeter
One of the greatest ever trumpeters, André made more than 300 recordings and rose to prominence with his renditions of Baroque works on piccolo trumpet. These strongly contributed to the burgeoning interest in Baroque music in the 1960s.
7
Jean-Baptiste Arban (1825-1889) – legendary cornet player
Arban was the world’s first famous cornet virtuoso. Inspired by Paganini’s violin playing, Arban pushed the cornet to similarly dazzling peaks. His ‘Trumpeter’s Bible’ is still studied by modern brass players.




8
Oystein Baadsvik (born 1966) – tuba player
The Norwegian tuba maestro is acclaimed for his masterclasses, performances, and ‘tuba clinics’ around the world – as well as the cult-like following of his performances on YouTube.
9
Alison Balsom (born 1978) – trumpeter




A 1998 Young Musician of the Year finalist, Balsom has since built an international reputation as one of the great trumpet players, winning Artist of the Year at the 2013 Gramophone Awards and three Classical BRITs.
10
Tine Thing Helseth (born 1987) – trumpeter
Tine Thing Helseth started to play the trumpet aged 7 and is one of today’s leading trumpeters. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the 2007 Norwegian Grammy Awards – the first classical artist ever to be nominated – and is the founder of the three day Tine@Munch festival in Oslo.




6 Qualities That All Successful Musicians Have





The music industry has always been competitive and cutthroat at heart, and these days, income is becoming harder and harder to find. Making a little money playing music on the side isn’t so hard, but in order to turn a passion into a career, you have to want it more than anything else. Though there is a ton of luck involved, many factors can be influenced to put you in a position to launch a musical career. However, it’s important not to have unrealistic standards about how things will be once you’re able to quit your “day job.” Here are six qualities that successful musicians possess.
1. They have no other choice
Some professional musicians got where they are today due to the fact that they struggled to get other work, or just weren’t capable of doing anything else. When you have no Plan B to fall back on, Plan A will have to be what works out for you. In an interview I did with violinist Jenny Scheinman earlier this year, she described moving out of the house at age 16 and busking around Santa Cruz to make ends meet. Though this alone will not guarantee you a successful music career, it sure is a good motivator to get started.

The bottom line: Successful musicians are confident and adventurous enough to dive into their music careers headfirst.




2. They’re willing to work hard and educate themselves
A professional musician must fill many hats these days. Often within a band, members will split the roles of manager, promoter and booking agent between the group. There are also many solo artists who take on all of these roles or more by themselves. Thus, it’s important to be able to educate yourself on the many different aspects of professional music-making, and to enjoy this process.

Of course, filling these roles results in a lot of work. John Roderick, who acts as the front man, songwriter and manager for his band The Long Winters, once told me about the 18-20 hour days he would put in while in the process of releasing and promoting a new record. Of course, the payoff is that there is one less person to pay, and he is thus able to make a sustainable income.

The bottom line: If you think that going into music will be an escape from doing “real” work, think again.




3. They don’t mind living modestly
Depending on the path you take in the wide world of music, it’s possible that you may never have a stable income. Even if it is stable, it might take years or even decades before it’s large enough for you to have certain luxuries. This doesn’t have to be a source of fear or anxiety as long as you know how to live within your means. Try to create some kind of stable cash flow in order to cover certain expenses such as gas, food or utilities. Teaching lessons or workshops is a great way to do this, if you feel comfortable educating others. That way, you can take a few things off your mind while doing your budgeting and focus more on making rent. In the end, it comes down to the question of living an easy life versus a fulfilling life.

The bottom line: It’s okay to dream big, but if the only reason you want to be a musician is because you think it’ll get you a large house with a yacht, you’ll quickly get weeded out of this business.




4. They have a patient, persistent attitude
This might be the most important out of the entire list. A career does not appear overnight, and especially not one in the arts. Even artists such as Lorde, who seemed to appear in an instant and blow up the charts out of nowhere, had been planning and preparing for that time for years.

Of course, very few people have the good fortune to be signed and developed by Universal at the age of 13. Whatever your musical craft may be, as long as you are making steps to improve every day, you will eventually be one of the best out there. However, it could take years before you’re capable of competing against other professional musicians. If you seek out new opportunities persistently, it’s completely possible to find the gig or job that sets you up into a more stable position, especially once more and more of your competition gives up and looks for other work.

The bottom line: Instead of becoming preoccupied with trying to get a “big break,” the most successful musicians nowadays focus on growing their careers gradually.




5. They’re willing to (and enjoy) working on their craft every day.
No matter which aspect of music or the arts you’re passionate about, it’s essential to practice your craft every day. By doing this, you will continue to improve while others stagnate, eventually being better than most others at what you do. In a first-year entrance speech that Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby) gave to Berklee College of Music’s class of 2010, he recalled the old martial arts saying, “When you are not practicing, someone else is. When you meet them, they will win.” In order to not only compete, but succeed in this hyper-competitive musical world, it’s absolutely vital to be on top of your game at all times, and be consistently raising the bar for yourself. And in order to make the most out of it, you have learn to really enjoy the process of improving and practicing as well.

The bottom line: If you don’t want to put in time to practice, you might be better suited as a hobbyist.




6. They’re creative at generating income.
One of the best things you can do when trying to stay afloat with your music is to find multiple streams of income. A great way to do this is by licensing out your music to be used in television shows, ads and movies. Even beyond that, taking on the management of a more established artist in your area or teaching private lessons/workshops can provide a “day job” alternative that will still grow you as an artist and a person, while also providing you with some really great networking opportunities.

Depending on your location or time of year, it may be very difficult to keep multiple income streams flowing your way. That’s where the creativity comes in. If there aren’t any opportunities to showcase your talent, you have to create the opportunities yourself. Activities such as busking, if done consistently and in a good location, can generate a good amount of money over time. Another alternative would be to try and find a restaurant that you think would sound great with live music, and go to them with the offer to perform weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly. It all adds up in the end, and sooner or later, a little bit of cash here and there can evolve into something spontaneous and beautiful.

The bottom line: Successful musicians don’t wait for opportunities to come to them – they seek them out or create them themselves.

Dylan Welsh is a freelance musician and music journalist, based in Seattle, WA. He currently plays in multiple Seattle bands, interns at Mirror Sound Studio, and writes for the Sonicbids blog. Visit his website for more information.



The 8 best classical music viral videos on the internet




From cows enjoying a spot of brass music to sneezes, chilli peppers and, perhaps inevitably, animals – these are our favourite viral videos from around the world.

Thug Life

Perhaps he should have played the drums instead…

 The upside-down string quartet

Neat gymnastics, witty Vivaldi quotes and some unexpected Kurt Weill all combined to make this madcap performance. Brava, ladies.

Overtone singing

Frankly, we’ve never seen anything like this – a woman singing two notes at once and managing to make it sound utterly stunning. No mean feat.




2Cellos take on Iron Maiden

Along with the Piano Guys, 2Cellos have cornered the market for high-concept videos, but this is definitely one of our favourites. Taking on the might of Iron Maiden is a challenge at the best of times, but these two went one further and even got the approval from the beasts of heavy metal themselves.

 





The trombone sneeze

Self-explanatory. Easily the greatest concert mishap on the internet.

 

Chilli orchestra

This was never going to end well, but when this orchestra attempted to play while eating the world’s hottest chilli, few could’ve predicted how extreme the effects would be. Hilarious and terrifying.

 





The Mercurotti

Not content with being an exceptional Pavarotti impersonator, Marc Martel also knocks out a pretty mean Freddie Mercury, as evidenced by this one-man duet which he calls (wait for it…) ‘The Mercurotti’.

 





Trombone-playing farmer

Who doesn’t love a trombone viral videos? And this is without doubt one of the most wonderful. Watch what happens when this farmer takes a seat with his faithful bit of brass…




Music As Refuge From Stress




The stress-relief industry is booming. Mindfulness and meditation have become common practices in many large corporations, and research is backing their positive effects on stress management, cognitive functions and general health. Understanding the mechanisms of stress and relaxation as well as their effects on the brain and mind can help in creating a lifestyle that supports wellbeing throughout life. Recent research shows that music may have special power in dissolving stress and creating room for relaxation in our busy lives.

We all know what stress feels like. What is going on in the body when we’re stressed, what kinds of physiological processes cause the stress reaction? The stress reaction is caused by activation of the sympathetic nervous system, part of the autonomous nervous system, meaning a system that we have very little control over. The activation of the sympathetic nervous system influences many functions of the body: heart rate and blood pressure rise, the pupils of the eye dilate, sweating increases, blood rushes to the muscles, they may start trembling, the mouth gets dry and digestion halts to save energy. Stimuli that cause this activation are called stressors and include for instance startling, loud noises and exposure to threatening stimuli. Stressors can be things we encounter in our environments, but they can just as easily be things that we imagine. For instance, having to speak in public is a very common stressor that can activate the stress response and the sympathetic nervous system. Also, the mere thought of public speaking can cause the very same activation. This means that what counts as a stressor is highly subjective.



The physiological stress reaction can sometimes be unpleasant and counterproductive – for instance it’s not exactly helpful to have a dry mouth and knocking knees when you’re trying to project an image of confidence and be clear in your presentation. However, the stress reaction is your body trying its best to help you. Scientists believe the reaction has evolved to help humans survive life-threatening situations. For example, if you confronted a predator in the prehistoric era, you had a greater chance of outrunning it or beating it in a fight with all systems ready: muscles filled with blood and energy, heart ready to pump and acute vision. This is why the stress reaction is also often called the fight or flight response.

“If you remember only one thing from this post, let it be that the stress reaction is there to help you!”

What happens in the brain during the stress response? A review published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience summarizes the effects of stress on brain function and the mechanisms through which it affects thinking. In the brain, stress results in neurotransmitters called catecholamines to be released. In the case of small or moderate stress, they support the functioning of the frontal lobes, and result in an alert, focused state of mind. However, if the stress goes overboard, catecholamines are released in excess, in essence knocking out the frontal lobes. This brain area is important for higher cognitive functions such as planning, problem-solving and flexibility of thought. With these functions wiped out, more primitive reactions can surface – people become impulsive, irritable and irrational. For instance, in a study published in 2015, researchers found that stressed-out subjects had a harder time making healthy snack choices!

Typically a small amount of stress promotes healthy functioning of the human body in a trying circumstance. However, sometimes the stress reaction becomes prolonged and can have serious adverse effects on health. This type of chronic stress has been connected to an increase in inflammatory agents in the blood stream, which in turn prolongs, for instance, the healing of wounds, results in repeated colds, and is connected to serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Furthermore, chronic occupational stress has been connected to atrophy in the certain parts of the frontal lobes as well as the striatum, important for pleasure and motivation.





In summary, chronic stress can have detrimental effects on the cognitive abilities that are most needed at work and the brain areas that support these abilities, as well as on general health.  Luckily, there are many things we can do to counteract the effects of stress. One of these is mere knowledge about the stress reaction (good thing you have read this far!). In a study published in 2011, researchers investigated the influence of how subjects thought about their stress on the physiological effects it exerted. A third of the subjects were assigned to a group that was informed about the physiology of stress and told that the increase in heart rate, the dry mouth, the trembling were there to help the individual and not harm. One third were told that the best way to cope with the stress reaction was to ignore it and one third was not given information about stress. All subjects were then stressed by the Trier Social Stress Test. This test is very effective and routinely used to elicit the stress response in scientific experiments: it requires participants to deliver a 5-minute speech in front of evaluators, often dressed in white lab coats, who provide negative feedback about the speech. After the speech the participants in this study were also asked to count backwards from 996 in steps of 7 while the evaluators again provided negative feedback about the subject’s performance.

“Chronic stress can have detrimental effects on the cognitive abilities that are most needed at work”

Amazingly, the subjects who had received information about stress and changed their appraisal of the stress response from negative to positive, experienced less constriction of blood vessels during stress and showed better cardiac efficiency than the subjects who were instructed to ignore the stress or the subjects who did not receive specific instruction or information about the stress response. This difference in physiological responses to stress that knowledge and reappraisal can make may be behind the astounding findings of lower premature mortality in individuals who were highly stressed in their lives but did not believe that stress affected their health negatively, than in individuals who were highly stressed and believed that the effect was negative on health. Therefore, if you remember only one thing from this post, let it be that the stress reaction is there to help you!



In addition to knowledge and appraisal of the stress reaction, there are many other ways to counter the negative effects it may have on the body and mind. Luckily, the body is not only capable of fight of flight, but also of the relaxation response, brought on by activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. Much like its sympathetic sister, the parasympathetic nervous system also influences many organs and systems in the body: with activation of this system, heart rate and blood pressure decrease, the muscles relax, digestion and salivation activate and sexual arousal is possible. The sympathetic nervous system is activated by perception of a stressor, but the parasympathetic nervous system becomes active in the absence of stressors or activating stimuli. However, our lives are nowadays built in a way that stressors are abundant. We may spend our workday in a state of constant stress only to come home to spend time in front of a screen delivering more activating stimuli. States of low arousal and relaxation have to be therefore consciously created to allow the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in. Meditation and mindfulness practices create the opportunity for just this, which may in part explain the positive effects on health that people experience.

Another very powerful way to create opportunities for the relaxation response to activate is through music. A study published in 2015 that we recently wrote about found that listening to music has a powerful influence on the physiological effects of stress. However, the effect depends on the mindset of the listener – the study found that only music which was listened to with the explicit intent of relaxing significantly lowered stress levels as well as concentrations of cortisol, the hormone released during the stress response. In addition to intent, a recently published study showed that personal preference also plays an important role in the stress-alleviating effects of music listening. In summary, music can be an enjoyable and powerful stress relief, but whether it works depends on many subjective factors.

Why is the Sync Project writing about stress? As stress is a major factor in overall health, wellbeing and cognitive fitness, understanding the effects of music listening on physiology and its promises for stress management could result in important advances for supporting health on a global scale. The Sync Project aims at enabling research that takes into account personal preference, listening context and other subjective factors in determining the physiological and stress management effects of music listening that takes place in real life.

 




All the Way Up: Time To Change Our Tune Towards Elevator Music?




It’s the late 1930s. You’re in New York for the first time from out of state and have just arrived at the Chrysler Building for a job interview. You’re overwhelmed by the city and nervous about the interview itself. The building is taller than anything you’ve ever seen, and to reach the top floors you’re ushered into a small cube-like box called “an elevator.” You’ve heard of these things, but it’s your first time traveling in one. And you’re uneasy about it. Suddenly the elevator is full and the suited operator closes the doors, presses some buttons and your stomach lurches as you start to rise.

“You’re looking nervously down at the floor – avoiding the gaze of the other passengers – when through the silence you hear …. soothing music. ”

Slow, even-paced and slightly jazzy, it doesn’t sound like anything you recognize. In fact, you very quickly forget it’s even playing. Remarkably though, once you reach your floor you feel rather calm, leaving your fears behind in the elevator and walking out with your head held high, ready to get the job. And completely unaware that you’ve just had your first experience with functional music.



That – or so the story goes – is how “elevator music” got its name. The public were understandably nervous about traveling in new-fangled elevators back when they were first developed, so building owners embraced the idea of playing soothing, innocuous background music to calm passengers down. But to understand the actual origins of so-called “muzak”, we need to look back a little further…

FROM STIMULUS PROGRESSION TO QUANTUM MODULATION

It began in the 1920s, with an inventor and army general by the name of George Owen Squier. Part of the U.S. Army’s signal corps, General Squier was responsible for some important telephone inventions and held numerous patents in the field. He was also intrigued by the idea of music influencing productivity, for which he came up with a technique called “Stimulus Progression.” With the technique – which was used in factories at the time – workers were played 15-minute blocks of music that steadily increased in tempo and volume, so that they would unconsciously speed up their pace accordingly.

Squire’s first company delivered this music via telephone (appropriately named Wired Music) as radio technology at the time was relatively expensive and cumbersome to set up. Squier came to the conclusion that his future lay not on the factory floor, but in retail. By now it was the roaring 50s and retailers wanted calming music to pipe into their stores. The theory was if customers felt relaxed, they would stay in stores longer and buy more goods. The company resurfaced with a far more memorable name that has become synonymous with it’s product: Muzak. His company would build up a massive catalog of “elevator music” (later, commercially recorded music based on pop hits) and an associated image that would forever be embedded in popular culture. Ironically, the Muzak company never actually produced music for elevators!

The story of Muzak essentially ended in 2011, when the company was acquired by a customer experience corporation called Mood Media. In the US alone, Muzak’s catalog was playing some three million tracks in as many as 300,000 locations. So while the trademarked entity no longer exists, the muzak itself plays on – and is likely to be in our ears for many years to come…



BUT CAN MUSIC REALLY IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY AT WORK?

Companies like Muzak convinced their clients that the music piped into their malls, kitchens and hotel lobbies made things run more smoothly but it’s unclear what evidence actually supported these claims. Fortunately, more recent studies have provided deeper insights into the capacity for music to effect mood and productivity in ways that would have likely tickled the old general.

While there is little information to evaluate if Squier’s “Stimulus Progression” technique actually worked, we know that co-ordinated movement to music has documented emotional and physical effects. A recent study showed that when people move synchronously to music in a group they reported having a higher threshold for pain and feeling more socially connected. This could have real implications for jobs that involve strenuous physical activity like construction — though it seems unlikely that you’ll be seeing a work crew in a choreoCo-Ordinated Dancing Theregraphed dance anytime soon.