Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Lark Descending

There is a standard of most classical music stations called "The Lark Ascending."  If you don't immediately recognize the title, you no doubt will recognize the melody.  It's a lovely piece with rising crescendos and falling denouements.
The piece reminds me of a beautiful Irish woman I met many years ago who gave me a tape of her favorite music.  Remember when we all gave people a tape of "our" music?  Over the years I played the tape until the technology I currently access made that difficult and a few moves along the way allowed that tape to disappear by accident or design.

Until recently, I'd hear "The Lark Ascending" either on the radio or while out and about because it is a stand-by of music stations.  It always brought a slight smile to my face remembering Molly and the music that defined her life.  Until recently.  The corporate powers that latched on to Peet's Coffee in my local shop have managed to conspire to play that piece on a more than regular basis.  I her their canned music every day and sometimes twice.  The appeal diminishes daily.
Somewhere in this diatribe is a metaphor.  Because some corporate wonk, who decides what music will be played (and re-played as nauseum)  the entire appeal of an environment changes drastically.  Now I know this is no big deal.  But it is symptomatic of what seems to be going on in this culture more often and with greater consequences.  The corporatizing of our environment, our schools, our food, and now, in some small way, the music we listen to.
Question: Why does a commercial establishment have to re-play the same soundtrack?  What would happen if the workers or the public had a say in the selection?
Oh I know all about the psychology of music when it comes to impacting the consumer.  Some person somewhere must have a logical explanation why I have to hear "The Lark Ascending" so often.  I'd love to hear it.  And if no such explanation exists, then stop it.  Stop it right now because the lark is descending.

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