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The Influence of Music on People’s Behavior in Public Spaces

We all have heard various myths and facts about music. Some of them relate physical impact, for instance, it’s said that the human heart can resonate with song rhythms.

Influence of Music

We all have heard various myths and facts about music. Some of them relate physical impact, for instance, it’s said that the human heart can resonate with song rhythms. Other statements relate to social behavior. Music in public places can change how we shop, look at the products, interact with other visitors.

If you already know how to change people’s behavior via music, feel free to get some licensed and free tracks at sites like taketones.com. They provide the best sounds in different genres for various purposes: business, content creation, leisure. And if you still want to know how songs affect us, check out this guide!

Facts About Music in Public Places

There are five facts proven by researchers. Mainly, they rely on survey results so don’t consider them as 100% guaranteed trends. But it’s better to know how we react to music:

  • It’s essential to pay content creators for music played. Customers think that businesses should use licensed music and pay for it, except for royalty-free sounds.
  • Music is one of the most essential things in our daily lives. It’s more important than sports, movies, and art. Only the Internet and mobile phones outperform it.
  • Public music helps customers to understand brands. They say that audio should have the right volume, correspond with the business profile.
  • Sounds also can help employees, not only clients. Good music that people really like improves their wellbeing and productivity.
  • The right music in business public places can retain clients. People tend to stay longer in places with relevant and pleasant sounds.

These insights are from the survey organized by Heartbeats International. However, the researchers focus too much on the positive impact of music on brands. There are a few points that emphasize the relevance of sounds but we want to dig deeper. Thus, let’s find out what are the most notable good and bad impacts of music.

Source: Heartbeats International, 2011

Audio Is a Two-Edged Sword

Positive Effects

By positive, we mean different benefits for businesses that play music in public places. Various studies show that people tend to change their behavior depending on the sounds they hear. Music enables emotions and associations. As a result, we want to stay longer or leave, talk to other people, or sit back and relax, start thinking actively or trust experts.

Let’s check a few examples of audio materials that change human behavior:

  • Calm and soft ambient, classic – this music slows visitors, forces them to stay longer, look at products, wait. Thus, it’s good for exhibitions and shops.
  • Loud energetic beats, dance, rock – great for active events like sports. These genres help people to move, focus on progress instead of observation.
  • Love ballads, romantic music – obviously, it’s the best choice for dating and appropriate restaurants. Just mind the balance, keep music on the background.
  • Upbeat songs, positive power – these types also energize people but in a gentler way. They can work as a good last impression when clients leave the place or event.

Generally, it looks simple. Play slow classic – and customers will spend days and nights in your shop. But is the process really such straightforward? Not at all.

Negative Effects

Despite many ways you can use music to attract and retain clients, it’s essential to use sounds carefully. Often, we don’t notice background music. It affects us but we don’t think about it. It’s the most typical scenario: a customer enters a bar or shop, his/her mind detects audio and reacts respectively, but doesn’t activate cognitive systems to process these reactions.

However, music can harm your business easily. Jon Lindberg, editor-at-large in Travel + Leisure, explains how some people suffer from music. Even the tiniest dissonance, irrelevant track, too loud sounds, or too aggressive wording can prevent him from visiting any place. He suggests using neutral ambient tracks, little-known music, indie, or custom content.  

Overall, it means that background music can change our behavior in both cases: when we realize its influence and when we take it unconsciously. We’ve listed the best practices in the previous section. Now, let’s look at a larger scale.

Global Impact of Music

Apart from the local mental influence of songs, the whole music culture changes us as persons. From old classics to modern pop and even music by neural networks – these sounds affect the entire humankind, in different ways. We can distinguish three global impacts by now:

  • Cultural. Music is one of the greatest transmitters of culture. Earlier, genres remained stable for centuries because the culture was controlled by major parties like the church. Today, music changes quickly because it follows equally fast-paced cultural trends.
  • Emotional. We’ve discussed this thing here. Put simply, music affects our feelings and moods. It works almost always. We can notice this influence or no but it surrounds us all the time we hear music.
  • Moral. There are dozens of moral compasses out there. The thing is that music is one of them. It can translate various trends and ideas, acting as a strict parent or opening the Overton window even more.

Music Is Power

Despite our attitude to different music styles, we can’t deny the fact that it changes us, both as civilization and as individuals. There’s a famous theory that fact music affects plant growth. And it affects humans, as well. The same sounds can form a pleasant calm lullaby or become a real weapon that damages eardrums. Music is a giant universe, and we should treat it carefully. Think about it the next time you turn on Spotify. 

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