Gavin, Helen (2006) Intrusive music: The perception of everyday music explored by diaries. The Qualitative Report, 11 (3). pp. 550-565. ISSN 1052-0147

Music has a profound effect on those hearing it. It has the power to create and influence moods and emotions, alleviate boredom, facilitate concentration and motivation, and, according to DeNora (2000), to act as a force for social ordering as well as action, both at the level of the individual and collective. DeNora goes further and says that it can reconstruct the listener’s experience, a phenomenon that is under-researched and not clearly understood. Music plays an important role in consumerism, not just the multi-million pound industry it represents in its own right, but the increasing use of it in shops, bars, and restaurants, where it is intended to have beneficial effects on customers and their likelihood to spend. Consumer behaviour does appear to be manipulated and influenced by the presence of music. This is a recognised finding in early research in the area and has become an established “known” in the retail trade. For example, Gardner’s (1985) review of the effect of mood on consumer behaviour found that music was a major influence for changes in buying behaviour. The ubiquitous use of music in retail outlets, restaurants, and bars would seem to indicate to an observer that the public appears to accept the presence of music, and that retailers recognise its use is required. However, it is suggested that music has become such a part of everyday life that mainstream social science research is failing to address its effects (Konecni, 1982). Additionally, according to Bruner (1990), there is little attention paid to the quality or appropriateness of the music when used in consumer outlets or, indeed, the effect of the music individually or collectively. Adorno (1976) argued that there is a “culture industry” which keeps the population submissive and unreceptive, allowing capitalism to dominate instead of happiness. Mass media create illusory pleasure and false needs. A strong claim and politically partisan, but if our listening behaviour is so contextualised and possibly passive, then it is likely that we have yet to examine and explain the effects of musical stimuli, their quality and their form, on the listening situation (DeNora, 2000; North & Hargreaves, 1996). This research then attempted to address these questions and discover the extent to which music is regarded as unwelcome noise or welcomed stimuli.
The research must also be placed in my own personal context...


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