Lisa Packer, staff writer at Healthy Hearing, writes about Pipedown, an organization started almost 25 years ago in the UK by Nigel Rodgers who committed himself to stopping the ubiquitous assault of canned music in every public space. We wrote about Pipedown UK’s victory this summer when Marks & Spencer, the UK’s biggest chain store, agreed to stop playing muzak in their stores. Parker interviewed Rodgers about the evils of canned music, which Rodgers says is “mood-conditioning by business, trying to manipulate us into buying or doing what it wants.” He added that the constant over-stimulation “leaves us afraid of silence.”
Parker examines why businesses bombard us with music (short answer: to make money faster, of course), and cites noted noise activist Dr. Daniel Fink, who notes the misuse of the 85 dB occupational standard as a standard for the general public and the lack of federal safe noise standards for public places. Despite the effective noise regulation in the U.S., the article ends on a good note. Parker looks at Pipedown’s continued efforts fight noise, writing:
With more than 1500 members in the UK and sister groups in Germany, Austria, New Zealand and the U.S., Pipedown is now taking its efforts to persuade retailers and other establishments to eliminate canned music to a world stage.
The going may be slow, but each victory brings us closer to a quieter world.