Tags: Music | for | Boneheads

Music for Boneheads

Tuesday, 08 March 2005 12:00 AM

The recording is stored on a tiny microchip and starts playing when a button is pushed. The sound waves travel from the teeth into the jawbone and then to the inner ear.

Hasbro thinks there might a big demand for this gimmick, and will market it under the guise of better dental health: The longer a toothbrush is in a kid's mouth, the longer the brushing session. A kid would have to brush for two minutes to hear the end of the song.

Leaving aside the question of whether a person might get bored with the same song rattling through his bones with each brushing, one cannot escape the thought that, as with the cell phone, high-tech marketers assume that there isn't an inch of personal space which cannot be invaded by some sort of music.

Of course, demographers would slice and dice the market segments into more than just music or children. The brushing possibilities are endless. There could be investment info for investors; recipes for homemakers; car care tips for the fall season; jokes and comic Top Ten lists for the lighthearted to start their mornings. You get the picture.

I guess it started with the growth of Muzak in the 1940s, when anodyne tunes were played as environmental backdrops in elevators, department stores, supermarkets and physicians' offices. Borden's Dairy used to advertise back then that they piped in music at the milking stations, because milk from "contented cows" was somehow better. I wonder if the cows got to choose the music.

It got worse in the mid-fifties, when the transistor radio was born, and people started listening to radio stations while they made their perambulations. And restaurants started installing speakers in the ceiling — a trend that continues today — to annoy patrons with radio stations or recorded music as they tried to eat.

A decade or two later, we got boom boxes — large, steroidal contraptions that blew away not only the carrier but also those in proximity as well. I recall surly youth in Chicago boarding buses with these things hoisted on their shoulders — blasting out and disturbing the peace, to the reproachful grimaces of intimidated passengers.

Today, the latest battle for the skulls of youth is Apple's iPod, a $300 portable digital storage and playback device that holds upwards of "5,000 tunes" and whose owners are encouraged to "carry their music collection around with them."

Wildly popular on college campuses, the real benefit of this device, it seems, is that the business end of playing music is a set of headphones, a more civilized version of the boom box, sparing the health of those not wishing to inhale secondhand music.

Notwithstanding the fact that most of the music marketed in today's pop culture is sheer dreck, even if people could wander about the campus enraptured by, say, Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony, it doesn't address the issue as to whether it is good for them to go about their activities in a relentless, portable cone of noise.

Observing people thus preoccupied with bombarding their heads with noise of various sorts, one cries out for universal silence, if only for time to unscramble all those brains.

Perhaps the late composer John Cage was onto something. His most famous work, 4'33", was divided into three movements and played at the piano. All the notes were silent.

It could be argued that the plethora of so much poor-quality popular music today is a direct result of, among other factors, bad listening habits. Experiencing the epiphany of a Bach cantata while driving through a car wash should not be attempted by the untrained listener.

There is a proper way and a proper place to really listen to music. It is in the concert hall, in a club, in church or in front of a good stereo system. It is not while trying to do several things at once, or while peripatetically roaming the streets and corridors. It also isn't, dare I say, while brushing your teeth.

104-102

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
The recording is stored on a tiny microchip and starts playing when a button is pushed.The sound waves travel from the teeth into the jawbone and then to the inner ear. Hasbro thinks there might a big demand for this gimmick, and will market it under the guise of better...
Music,for,Boneheads
664
2005-00-08
Tuesday, 08 March 2005 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved