See also: muzak

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

The noun is a blend of music +‎ the letters ak from Kodak, a well-known brand in 1934 when the word was coined by the American inventor, scientist, and soldier George Owen Squier (1865–1934), who developed the original technical basis for the service.[1][2]

The verb is derived from the noun.[3]

PronunciationEdit

Proper nounEdit

Muzak (uncountable)

  1. (music, trademark) Recorded background music characterized by soft, soothing instrumental sounds which is transmitted by wire, radio, or recorded media (originally on a subscription basis) to doctors' offices, shops, and other business premises. [from 1934]
    Synonyms: aural wallpaper, (US) elevator music, (Britain) lift music
    • 1975 February 7, Michael Gross, quoting Tom Turicchi, “The Hits Just Keep on Coming”, in Robert Atwan; Barry Orton; William Vesterman, American Mass Media: Industries and Issues, New York, N.Y.: Random House, published 1978, →ISBN, part 3 (The Sound Media), page 320, column 2:
      There's no way I can change internal body functions. Only yogis can do that. Muzak, for example, can't change you. Aaron Copeland [i.e., Aaron Copland] calls Muzak 'the obsequious.' We're super-saturated with shitty music. [Originally published in New Times.]
    • 1983 November, Bill Hunter, “It’s Muzak through Your Ears”, in Robert Atwan; Barry Orton; William Vesterman, American Mass Media: Industries and Issues, 3rd edition, New York, N.Y.: Random House, published 1986, →ISBN, part 3 (The Sound Media), page 289, column 1:
      Some people, of course, have no trouble making that decision: they know they don't like Muzak. Critics charge that Muzak invades what could be pleasurable silence, disrupts conversation, or smacks of George Orwell's 1984. [Originally published in American Way.]

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

Muzak (uncountable) (often derogatory)

  1. (music) Easy listening music, whether played live or recorded, especially if regarded as uninteresting.
    Synonyms: aural wallpaper, ear candy
  2. (figuratively) Something (such as speech) regarded as droning on and often boring, or soothing but undemanding.

Alternative formsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

VerbEdit

Muzak (third-person singular simple present Muzaks, present participle Muzaking, simple past and past participle Muzaked) (transitive)

  1. To provide (premises, etc.) with Muzak.
  2. To adapt or reduce (a piece of music, etc.) to the status of Muzak.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Muzak, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “muzak, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ David Toop (20 January 2001) , “Environmental music [background music]”, in Grove Music Online, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, DOI:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.43820, OCLC 541463444.
  3. ^ Muzak, v.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2018.

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit