Friday, May 18, 2018

Civilization Strikes Back!

I knew this was a thing, but I didn't know it was so big of a thing: We Were Lied to by "A Clockwork Orange"
… Experts trace the practice’s origins back to a drowsy 7-Eleven in British Columbia in 1985, where some clever Canadian manager played Mozart outside the store to repel parking-lot loiterers. Mozart-in-the-Parking-Lot was so successful at discouraging teenage reprobates that 7-Eleven implemented the program at over 150 stores, becoming the first company to battle vandalism with the viola. Then the idea spread to West Palm Beach, Florida, where in 2001 the police confronted a drug-ridden street corner by installing a loudspeaker booming Beethoven and Mozart. “The officers were amazed when at 10 o’clock at night there was not a soul on the corner,” remarked Detective Dena Kimberlin. Soon other police departments “started calling.” From that point, the tactic — now codified as an official maneuver in the Polite Policeman’s Handbook — exploded in popularity for both private companies and public institutions. Over the last decade, symphonic security has swept across the globe as a standard procedure from Australia to Alaska.
Today, deterrence through classical music is de rigueur for American transit systems. …
Baroque music seems to make the most potent repellant. “[D]espite a few assertive, late-Romantic exceptions like Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff,” notes critic Scott Timberg, “the music used to scatter hoodlums is pre-Romantic, by Baroque or Classical-era composers such as Vivaldi or Mozart.”
 So, oddly, it turns out that thugs and ne're-do-wells don't actually like classical music? Let's listen to a little Mozart to celebrate. This is Hilary Hahn with the Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel:


Marc said...

Leave it to Eugene to go its own way here-- I think that the local transit company has abandoned the practice of playing Bizet et al (they were blasting an instrumental version of Carmen's Habanera, the last I noticed, two or three years ago). It may be that I simply don't notice any longer. If I can remember, I will stop in and ask, or perhaps write an email to their public comments address, at which it will elicit (as is required by law, ha) some response beyond, 'hmm, I don't know'.

Bryan Townsend said...

You live in a strange and foreign land, Marc!