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Background Music

Tom Service asks what is background music and how it functions in our lives. Including Satie's 'furniture music', Stimulus Progression, Brian Eno and Mozart serenades.

Tom tunes into the background, exploring what background music really is; telling the surprising story of the Muzak corporation, and discovering that there's a range of background functions that music can have: from the 'furniture music' of Erik Satie to the Stimulus Progression albums used in Lyndon B Johnson's White House. Daniel Barenboim, Julian Lloyd-Webber and Brian Eno help explain the power of and problems with background music.

Available now

29 minutes

Clip

Music Played

  • Brian Eno

    Always Returning

    • Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.
    • E.G. Records.
  • Erik Satie

    Chez Un bistrot

    Performer: Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux. Performer: Yutaka Sado.
    • ERATO.
  • Clean Bandit

    Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)

    • New Eyes.
    • Atlantic Records.
  • Beastie Boys

    Fight For Your Right

    • Licensed To Ill.
    • Def Jam Recordings.
  • Ravi Shankar

    Dhun In Devgiri Bilawal

    • The Rough Guide To Ravi Shankar.
    • World Music Network.
  • Calm Music Zone

    Ambient Sounds

    • Music To Calm Down: Calming Music With Nature Sounds For Emotional Distress, Sle.
    • Imagination Unlimited.
  • DJ Caspar

    Cha Cha Slide

    • Oops Upside Your Head.
    • All Around The World ‎.
  • Mantovani & His Orchestra

    Charmaine

    • Charmaine.
    • Decca ‎.
  • Erik Satie

    Un Salon

    Performer: Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux. Performer: Yutaka Sado.
    • ERATO.
  • David Lewis Luong

    Memoir of summer

    • Best of Elevator Music & Mall Music.
    • www.reverbnation.com/lewisluong.
  • Brian Eno

    Music for Airports

    • Music for Airports.
    • VIRGIN.
  • Felix Bernard

    Winter Wonderland

    Performer: Frank Sinatra.
    • A Jolly Christmas Frank Sinatra.
    • Capitol Records.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 4th movement; Allegro con brio

    Performer: Vienna Philharmonic. Performer: Carlos Kleiber.
    • DG.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Serenade (K.361) in B flat major ..., 2nd movement; Menuetto

    Orchestra: Consortium Classicum.
    • Mozart The Collectors Edition 50 CDs The Masterpieces The Greatest Artists.
    • EMI Classics.
    • 2.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Serenade in E flat major, K 375 (1st mvt)

    Orchestra: Consortium Classicum.
    • Mozart The Collectors Edition 50 CDs The Masterpieces The Greatest Artists.
    • EMI Classics.
    • 8.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Serenade (K.525) in G major "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", 1st movement; Allegro

    Performer: Gidon Kremer. Ensemble: Kremerata Baltica.
    • Gidon Kremer, Kremerata Baltica: After Mozart.
    • Nonesuch.
    • 6.
  • Carl Orff

    Carmina Burana

    • Old Spice Ad.
  • John Coltrane

    Oleo

    • The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961.
    • Sony Music.
  • Judith Weir

    Arise! Arise!

    Performer: William Howard. Ensemble: The Schubert Ensemble.
    • NMC.
  • Muzak

    Paradise Program

    • Stimulus Progression 6.
    • MUZAK.

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