"Muzak may refer to Muzak (brand), the brand name of an American background music distribution service for retail stores and other establishments a generic term for elevator music ." (Wikipedia)
"muzak |ˈmjuːzak| noun [ mass noun ] trademark recorded light background music played through speakers in public places. ORIGIN 1930s: alteration of music." (online dictionary)
I suppose this is another case of the brand name becoming the generic identifier. I’ve pondered this before (Kleenex versus facial tissue; Thermos versus vacuum bottle, etc.) I used to joke that I could tell I was getting old(er) because I knew all the worlds to the tunes played on elevators, i.e. Muzak. Not sure I do now. I remember being surprised that my grandchildren knew words to songs that I thought were gibberish. As for rap? I’m afraid that I’m slip-sliding away. Even Muzak is no longer familiar, except in the month of December when Christmas music is the staple of Walmart et al. But different audiences determine choices.
Store owners can supply their own background music these days, playing sound tracks and their own “created,” i.e. selected list of listening or they can turn on a local radio station specialising in uninterrupted minutes of hits or more likely ‘golden oldies’. Beauty shops or salons and spas soothe their clients with music to meditate by, restaurants offer privacy through noise. No one, it seems, prizes silence. I do, generally, and never put music on for dinner. I don’t like background noise, I suppose because it interferes with my inner brain noise.. But right now, as I write this, I have easy listening on a sound-only channel on my TV. “Laura” just finished and yes, I remember all the words. It’s funny, I don’t remember sitting down consciously to memorise them. I guess we learn things by osmosis when we are young. Ah - “Canadian Sunset.” I am actually irritated now when an old tune comes on that I am not familiar with.
"Extraordinary how potent cheap music is” said Noel Coward (1899-1973). I knew it was Noel Coward and looked it up. It’s from Private Lives (1930), and Amanda said it, although the initial actress, Gertrude Lawrence, said ’strange’ in a recording of the play. In any case, Coward was referring to his song in the play, “Some Day I’ll Find You”. Not cheap at all. Ah, well, legends are made of this. I am awash with sentiment and long-loved lyrics and melodies. I turned on the music simply to help me turn off and turn in so that I could write a blog, and my escape became the blog. So now I’ll turn in.