Muzak is a brand of background music played in retail stores and other venues. Formerly owned by Muzak Holdings, the brand was purchased in 2011 by Mood Media in a deal worth US$345 million.

Muzak is the sweetener in the drink called ambience.

The worst job in the world must have been to be in a lift top band.  Sitting up there in all the dust and grime.  I dont know how they managed it. Must have been exhausting playing all night and day the same old tunes. Up and down, up and down. So now it's been replaced by recordings.

In the restaurant at the Hotel in Beijing there was music playing. The slow movement from Mozart's Flute and Harp concerto. Very nice.

It was on a loop. The loop repeated every four minutes thirty seconds.    Very nice the first time.   Tolerable the second.  Unfortunately however, trained musicians can't help but listen.

After half an hour you could hear players running out screaming.


In the 80's we had the honour of being guests of the Sultan of Oman for a week at Al Bustan Palace Hotel.  There the poolside loop was about thirty minutes long.

Day two, all the poolside speakers found themselves mysteriously bandaged with towels. Such ingratitude.  But sanity is important.

Al Bustan Palace Hotel

Al Bustan Palace Hotel

Last night after a performance of Rachmaninov Symphony No 2 in Shanghai Symphony Hall and a quick beer with some friends I found my self alone in the hotel lift  A very elegant lift with mahogany panels and bevelled mirrors. And yes of course, soothing music.  It sounded familiar. It should be. It was Rachmaninov Symphony No 2. 

Would it still be playing on the way down to breakfast?

Ps Hands up. Guilty. We did record the music for the Shard lifts.

1 Comment