Classical Music



Are they hearing Mozart or Salieri? The LA Times reports:

With all sorts of the funding cuts hitting orchestras during the recent recession, there is still one aspect of classical music that local governments find valuable — the music’s unfailing ability to disperse loitering teenagers from public areas.

Whether its Handel piped into New York’s Port Authority or Tchaikovsky at a public library in London, the sound of classical music is apparently so repellent to teenagers that it sends them scurrying away like frightened mice. Private institutions also find it useful: chains such as McDonald’s and 7-Eleven, not to mention countless shopping malls around the world, have relied on classical music to shoo away potentially troublesome kids.




Authorities across Britain are introducing classical music in public places — not for citizens’ enjoyment, but as a social control device. The concept harkens back to scenes in A Clockwork Orange. From Reason:

In recent years Britain has become the Willy Wonka of social control, churning out increasingly creepy, bizarre, and fantastic methods for policing the populace.

Across the UK, local councils and other public institutions now play recorded classical music through speakers at bus-stops, in parking lots, outside department stores, and elsewhere…as a deterrent against bad behavior.

Tyne and Wear in the north of England was one of the first parts of the UK to weaponize classical music. In the early 2000s, the local railway company decided to do something about the “problem” of “youths hanging around” its train stations.