January 27, 2014

What is that telephone hold music?

An old man's dogged search to find out — a "This American Life" episode with a very satisfying narrative arc. Listen here.


southcentralpa said...

Any discussion of hold music must include http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbx5IMxfw-A

Also, the dirty secret of grunge was that before the Seattle Sound broke out nationally several of the seminal figures of grunge had done sessions for Musak, which is headquartered in Seattle. The folks at Muzak always refused to name names ... me, I would've released the tracks to someone like Rhino Records so they could make a "before they were famous" album.

How about you?

rhhardin said...

The AEP radio engineers division, who would be responsible for complaints of RF interference from their rusty transformers, is small and had their own call director style phone number.

Its music on hold was generated by the call director computer, using CPU cycles, one note at a time.

It happened to he Fur Eliza, which has only broken chords.

When the secretary returned, I sais :

"Do you know that you have Beethoven for music on hold?"

"Yes," she answered. "There's nothing we can do about it."

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

That was a satisfying segment. I was a bit afraid that he never would find out what music it was.

I heartily enjoyed the first act of that episode. That family was a hoot! The earnest religious fanatic older brother and the trolliest-of-trolls younger brother--it was a riot.