Quotation by Norman Corwin

Whatever else it may be—stimulus, tranquilizer, aural nipple, too of executives, Muzak is basically trivializing. It is not simply that it relegates music to the province of wallpaper. Background music never need be banal. When it is used in support of drama, it can greatly enhance without harming itself. Mozart was entirely amenable to such films as Elvira Madigan and The French Lieutenant's Woman; Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote aptly for The Invaders, Arnold Bax for Oliver Twist, Sergei Prokofiev for Lieutenant Kije and Alexander Nevsky, Dmitri Shostakovich for others. In such uses, music collaborates with artists, it becomes an art among arts. But Muzak collaborates chiefly with management: it is used as an aural smoke-screen, a form of jamming, a hormone in the henhouse, an emollient in cemeteries.
Norman Corwin (b. 1910), U.S. author, editor. "Music and Laughter," Trivializing America: The Triumph of Mediocrity, Lyle Stuart (1986).
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