Muzak: on functional music and power

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Jones, Simon ; Schumacher, Thomas (1992)
  • Publisher: Speech Communication Association

This paper examines the phenomenon of “functional music” and its evolution as a social technology in the control and regulation of work, consumption, and public space. It argues that the practices of functional music articulate some of the characteristic ways in which power is exercised in capitalist societies and, moreover, that changes in the functional music industry indicate wider structural shifts in capitalism toward “post-Fordist” regimes of production and consumption. Through an analysis of the history, forms, and discourses of functional music, this paper examines the cultural and political significance of these transformations.
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