Can Music Alter Time?
Can Music Alter Time?
The right music can change the way you perceive time.
Think way back to the last time you stood in line or sat on hold
You might remember some forgettable blend of piano and strings or a ukulele laid over tropical bongos
These songs are bland and boring but that’s the point.
This strange genre dates way back to the early 1900’s
A composer named Erik Sati wrote the first collection of intentionally forgettable songs
He called it furniture music but you probably know it as background or elevator music
Sati created songs that no one would notice, that people would here without really listening to
This music will never inspire you or get you on your feet
It won’t strike a cord or make you cry
Background music is designed to simply fill space
It’s there to prevents the discomfort of complete silence
People claim they like peace and quiet but silence is not something many people actually enjoy
It puts us in edge, it creates an eeire vibe that inspires anxiety and fear
Even if you’re not scared of it silence still feels awkward
Is that how you want your customers to feel as they browse through your store?
Sure you groan when the same acoustic riff plays for the 25th time but that music has a subtle yet powerful effect on your brain
It balances your mood with cheerful ensembles
Some songs make you feel like you’re on vacation, your attitude shifts becoming more carefree and optimistic
The science behind this is a little more complicated
As we go about our daily lives our brains are taking in countless new stimuli
Few places are more perceptually overwhelming than stores and malls
We’re constantly absorbing every sight, sound and smell we come in contact with
Each new sensation makes it much harder to stay focused
Background music takes advantage of our brains inability to concentrate
It provides a constant stimulus that clouds our judgement
In other words you’re more likely to spend more money on new shoes because you were thinking about too many different things
But your rational isn’t your only brain function that suffers
Background music alters your perception of time
While you’re standing in line music subtly distracts and entertains you
You unconsciously start to split your attention between the music and how long you’ve been waiting
Since you’re only thinking about the wait half as much it seems to go buy faster
So the next time someone puts you on hold don’t let some mindless melody mess with your head
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