Elevator music

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Elevator music (also known as muzak, piped music, weather music, or lift music) refers to the gentle instrumental arrangements of popular music designed for playing in shopping malls, grocery stores, department stores, telephone systems (while the caller is on hold), cruise ships, airports, doctors' and dentists' offices, and elevators. The term is also frequently applied as a generic (and often derogatory) term for any form of easy listening, smooth jazz, or middle of the road music, or to the type of recordings once commonly heard on "beautiful music" radio stations.

The Muzak corporation is a supplier of business background music. In fact, the term muzak has become a generic epithet for excessively bland music. Muzak, however, moved away from this type of music, for the most part, in 1997[1] and now uses only original artists for its music source, except on the Environmental channel.[2]

Elevator music is typically set to a very simple melody, so that it can be unobtrusively looped back to the beginning.[citation needed] In a mall or shopping center, elevator music of a specific type has been found to have a psychological effect: slower, more relaxed music tends to make people slow down and browse longer.[citation needed] Elevator music may also be preferred over broadcast radio stations due to the lack of lyrics and commercial interruptions.[citation needed]

This style of music is sometimes used to comedic effect in mass media such as film, where intense or dramatic scenes may be interrupted or interspersed with such music while characters use an elevator (eg. The Blues Brothers, Dawn of the Dead , Mr. and Mrs. Smith , and Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra).

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