When I say Vrooom...

This in from BBC Radio 4's poll on their arts program, Front Row. They asked listeners to keep a diary of all the music heard in a 24 hour period.

'Front Row' listeners who kept diaries were exposed to an average of one hour and sixteen minutes of background music in a day - music which they did not choose to hear.

One previously unidentified source of music rage emerged in a number of the diaries: bad singing by colleagues in the workplace, who have no volume control and little musicality.

Other music which provoked particular anger included 'hideous sounds' coming from newly installed TV screens on a bus, very loud pop tracks in shops and repetitive electronic tunes played by toddlers' toys.

But the diaries also reveal that ... many respondents actually enjoy piped background music in the right context.

While 38% of non-chosen music received a negative rating, 28% was rated positively, and 34% received a neutral score.

I noted birdsong as an unrequested, but highly rated, form of music. My least favourite intrusion was, no surprise, a series of mobile phone ringtones. I have part of a guitar solo from King Crimson's 'Larks Tongue's in Aspic Part IV' as a specific ringtone for a guitarist friend. I should imagine that would upset quite a lot of people. Robert Fripp being one of them.

Talking of Crim, I listened back to their EP Vrooom yesterday. A wondrous, full on, lolloping crazy person of a record. Sid Smith asked for opinions on it and marked out 'When I Say Stop, Continue' as a track that divides its listenership. I love it. Especially the moment where a sharp, well defined stop doesn't happen and the music continues like a particularly cool car parking a few feet further up the road than it's driver intended.


fjl said…
I have heard of this survey...It's one of those thing that's too important to neglect, too remote to prioritise!
I know music is very important to me, I rarely go without it. Yet a change can be as good as a rest. I certainly don't accept what's dolled out...

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