For some people out there, a quick trip in an elevator can become cause for unbearable feelings of nervousness and anxiety. The close proximity, the lack of control, the awkwardness of standing an inch away from a stranger’s face- it can make some people very uncomfortable. Some lift companies have already started implemented digital distractions within their elevators as a way of calming any nerves, however this is simply following the original distraction that was created years before: elevator music.

Elevator music burst onto the scene in the early 1900’s, back when skyscraper’s were starting to appear across the globe and buildings were becoming more like the ones we are familiar with today. Imagine being alive back in those times, and all of a sudden you are being told you’re going to have to be shuttled up a hundred floors inside a tiny, cramped box- doesn’t sound ideal, right? Well for some people, it all proved a bit too much, and so elevator music was brought in to calm some nerves.

But where did it come from? Well, to answer that question, we’re going to have to travel as far back as the First World War, when the process of transmitting music through electrical wires was perfected by an army general who would go on to found a company called Muzak. Due to the rise of radio, Muzak struggled to get off the ground in the 30’s, and so they began concentrating on providing background music.

This background music was ideal for supermarkets, office blocks and elevators, as it seemed to calm any listeners and create a more relaxed atmosphere. The music itself came from live orchestras and bands that were brought in to compose and perform calming melodies which were then distributed across the various stores and offices that were using it.

By the time World War 2 rolled around, companies had become fully aware of the fact that background music was making their employees more productive- which was vital due to the strain put on the industrial sector during this period. From there, elevator music was implemented for years to help keep workers, shoppers and even colleagues calmer.

Unfortunately, Muzak seems to have gone out of style as time has gone on by, and businesses and stores have evolved into not requiring any calming background noise. For example, supermarkets a now more likely to play music in the charts than any Muzak, however this means that they know have to pay copyright fees.

At Elevators Ltd, we’re big fans of Muzak and provide high quality lift maintenance services to ensure that you can still enjoy a smooth elevator ride.