Why Do They Play Music in Public Places?

Short answer: Mind Control.

Loud vocal music prevents conversation, inhibits logical thinking, and causes impulsive decisions.

This is a well known, deliberate action based on extensive research.

So that music you hear is not an accident or something done for your entertainment.

For example:


In Elevators

They play music in elevators so that people can avoid having to talk to strangers.

This is rather benign compared to the situations described below.


While Shopping

Loud, vocal music distracts you from logical thinking.

Thus, it discourages reading labels, evaluating products, asking questions, talking to the person with you, and making decisions.

In total, it makes you a less disciplined, less effective shopper.

It can also ruin the shopping experience.

Once I had a headache by the time I left the store.


With Ads

Some stores play music with ads.

This is very clever.

Just before each ad, there’s a moment of silence.

As a result, people relax their resistance to the noise. And that causes them to pay more attention to the ads.


During Negotiations

Auto dealers play music because it puts the customer at a disadvantage during price negotiation.

Then there’s another trick they play on customers.

When you go for a test drive, the sales person will turn on the radio. Loud.

This prevents you from listening to how the vehicle performs.

When I test drive a car, I turn off the radio. I turn off the air conditioner. And I turn off the conversation.

Then I tell the sales person that I want to listen to how the car performs.


In Restaurants

Fast music makes people eat faster. As a result, they eat too much.

It also inhibits conversation. As a result, people finish eating in less time.

So restaurants play fast, loud, vocal music because it helps them sell more food in less time.

While that’s good for profits, it’s bad for you.

You end up eating too much, too fast, without enjoying the dining experience.

Once I asked a restaurant manager to turn off the music.

Once the music stopped, everybody began talking. And the general atmosphere felt more relaxed.


What Can You (the Customer) Do?

You can:

1) Ask the manager to turn off the music.

2) If someone rejects your request, ask to speak to that person’s boss.

3) Walk out. And tell them why you’re leaving.

4) Go outside to negotiate or eat.

5) Shop elsewhere, or shop on-line.

6) Phone customer service. Of course, be polite and be positive.

7) Write a letter. Or send a comment from the company’s web site.

8) Send them an e-mail.

9) Share this article with others so that they can help you.

10) Wear ear plugs.

While one person may have a small influence, many people can cause change.

Imagine for example, what might happen if thousands of people called a company’s office to complain about the music being played in their stores.

If enough customers complained, the company would choose silence.


Preserving Silence, One Article at a Time


Find More at:

Why Silence – Blog post on the Power of Silence

Are You as Sick of Loud Music in Stores as I Am? – Article about music in stores