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Using Classical Music As a Form of Social Control 721

Posted by samzenpus
from the feeling-of-dread-in-f-minor dept.
cyberfringe writes "Classical music is being used increasingly in Great Britain as a tool for social control and a deterrent to bad behavior. One school district subjects badly behaving children to hours of Mozart in special detention. Unsurprisingly, some of these youth now find classical music unbearable. Recorded classical music is blared through speakers at bus stops, outside stores, train stations and elsewhere to drive away loitering youth. Apparently it works. Detentions are down, graffiti is reduced, and naughty youth flee because they find classical music repugnant."

*

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Using Classical Music As a Form of Social Control

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  • by plover (150551) * on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:36AM (#31355090) Homepage Journal

    You are aware that A Clockwork Orange [imdb.com] was fiction, aren't you? It was a movie and not a documentary.

    • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:41AM (#31355130)

      They're probably repelling people by playing it really loudly and with horrible quality. Classical music has a lot of high notes and when played poorly it's a lot like listening to nails on a chalkboard.

      • by The Clockwork Troll (655321) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:52AM (#31355182) Journal
        droogs, don't filly with the ludwig van.
      • by mpe (36238) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:12AM (#31355572)
        They're probably repelling people by playing it really loudly and with horrible quality.

        Rather indicated by use of the term "blared". It's probably only a question of time before before such speakers start attracting the same kind of destruction as speed cameras.
      • by Ravn_Silvalar (1201173) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:35AM (#31356770)

        My experience has not been that the music has been incredibly loud, it's been quite pleasant in fact.

        I found it quite funny when I first heard they were doing this at my local bus stop, I didn't think it would be a deterrent as it wouldn't have dettered me (I was a teen when they started doing this). Was surprised it worked though.

        Britains main problem isthe criminalising of its youth. They steadily reduced the amount of money going to youth programs and centres, thereby reducing the amount of places and free activities that children could go to and do. So as a result more and more of them started hanging around streets and at malls as they had no where else to go. This scared people seeing large "gangs of youth and about, assuming they must be upto no good.

        They are asked to move on by police or people because they are scaring people just by being there, made to feel like criminals and then we expect them to act better.

        Britain has seen a drop in most criminal activity despite Labours addition of several thousand new criminal laws since they came to power in 1997. Yet most people think the country has got worse, and seem to blame the youth more and more.

        • by Rary (566291) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @09:09AM (#31357502)

          Yet most people think the country has got worse, and seem to blame the youth more and more.

          You've just described every "older" generation in every country in the world all throughout human history.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Thursday March 04, 2010 @10:04AM (#31358002) Homepage

          People have always thought things were getting worse as the country modernised. That phrase "going to the dogs" was coined in the 16th century.

          Unfortunately people like having someone to blame and the media creates fear where there need not be any. It's ironic that anti-social behaviour is now being "tackled" with more anti-social behaviour. I wonder what would happen if I set up an ultra-sonic siren to scare off dog walkers who foul the pavement near my house? What about "stinger" spike strips to roll out in front of cyclists and invalid carriage drivers who use the pavement? I should start playing recorded lectures on atheism out my window the next time the church/mosque next door starts that annoying worshipping and to discourage their followers from hanging around in groups near where I live?

    • by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:33AM (#31355382)

      You are aware that A Clockwork Orange [imdb.com] was fiction, aren't you? It was a movie and not a documentary.

      Don't forget that Alex DeLarge actually liked Ludwig Von. He was appalled by what was done in order to let people dislike his music.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mrmeval (662166)

      It is a human melody played on the flesh of the incompetent. Those too feeble to know good from evil, right from wrong. Graphitist and rapists alongside murderers and thieves. I shall enjoy you trogs being ground to dust. Defilers of space and wisdom that you are.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TapeCutter (624760) *

      You are aware that A Clockwork Orange [imdb.com] was fiction, aren't you? It was a movie and not a documentary.

      Yes, but it was based on the real life documentry Transistorized Carrot [myspace.com]

  • A Clockwork Orange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fear025 (763732) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:36AM (#31355098)
    from A Clockwork Orange:
    Alex: No. No! NO! Stop it! Stop it, please! I beg you! This is sin! This is sin! This is sin! It's a sin, it's a sin, it's a sin!
    Dr. Brodsky: Sin? What's all this about sin?
    Alex: That! Using Ludwig van like that! He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music!
    Dr. Branom: Are you referring to the background score?
    Alex: Yes.
    Dr. Branom: You've heard Beethoven before?
    Alex: Yes!
    Dr. Brodsky: So, you're keen on music?
    Alex: YES!
    Dr. Brodsky: Can't be helped. Here's the punishment element perhaps.
    • by Kuroji (990107) <kuroji@gmail.com> on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:40AM (#31355120)

      And that's exactly what it's going to do -- the youth of Britain will identify ALL classical music as repugnant based on its use and the majority will want nothing to do with it. Indeed, they will want to see it burned.

      Maybe they should use some music whose artists aren't several hundred years dead, then perhaps the artists could have a very interesting discussion as to the use of their music...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Chavs yes, the rest of the youth not so much.

      • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:53AM (#31355184)

        Maybe they should use some music whose artists aren't several hundred years dead, then perhaps the artists could have a very interesting discussion as to the use of their music...

        I suggest Rage Against The Machine.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dcollins (135727)

        "Maybe they should use some music whose artists aren't several hundred years dead, then perhaps the artists could have a very interesting discussion as to the use of their music..."

        Case study: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,672177,00.html [spiegel.de]

      • by justin12345 (846440) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:12AM (#31355570)
        They should switch to country western. No loss there.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by umghhh (965931)
        this has already happened - from TFA:

        "They seem to loathe [the music]," said the proud railway guy. "It's pretty uncool to be seen hanging around somewhere when Mozart is playing."

        . It is a shame of course but there are some other things officialdom in UK (and I would believe not only there) does to people: blasting with high energy light or using high pitched noise apparently to drive all under 20 (this including toddlers) away. I am not sure if I should believe this article but nothing is impossible these days and technology offers 'solutions' to problems that only twisted mind of a public servant or perverted sadist would consider acceptable.

      • by mathfeel (937008) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @05:09AM (#31356120)

        And that's exactly what it's going to do -- the youth of Britain will identify ALL classical music as repugnant based on its use and the majority will want nothing to do with it. Indeed, they will want to see it burned.

        Maybe they should use some music whose artists aren't several hundred years dead, then perhaps the artists could have a very interesting discussion as to the use of their music...

        They would, but they can't afford to pay the perpetual copyright.

    • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday March 04, 2010 @05:30AM (#31356214) Journal
      It was a sin because in the end it didn't ruin Beethoven for him it had the opposite effect and made violence a thing of beauty for him.

      ALEX's voice over at the end of the movie - "And what do you know, my brothers and only friends, it was the 9th, the glorious 9th of Ludwig van. Oh, it was gorgeosity and yummy yum yum. I was cured. As the music came to its climax, I could viddy myself very clear, running and running on like very light and mysterious feet, carving the whole face of the creeching world with my cut throat britva. I was cured all right."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:38AM (#31355104)

    Groups of retired people, hanging around busstops.
    Pestering innocent by-passers...

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:39AM (#31355114) Journal

    But it's attracting the Calculus Gang and the Bach Gang. They wrote 30,000 digits of pi all over the bus stop last week. Cost the city 20 grand to remove it all.

  • Horrible! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wingfield (872389) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:41AM (#31355128)
    I don't agree with this at all! How many of these kids who may have grown up to enjoy classical music are turned off by it forever? How many children will avoid their school music programs now, which have positive effects on everything from social development to grades? This makes me so angry.
    • by Korin43 (881732) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:49AM (#31355758) Homepage
      You've got to think farther into the future. The next generation of British people is going to hate classical music. What happens when they have kids? An entire generation of teenagers obsessed with classical music. Just imagine the lulz.
    • Re:Horrible! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by blahplusplus (757119) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:53AM (#31355770)

      You either like music or you don't, I REALLY REALLY doubt playing classical music is going to change the opinions of ANYONE. Did elevator music turn anyone off of being a musician? Come on man.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gaelfx (1111115)
      Yeah, 'cause our opinions from our childhood never change. I still think girls are icky and vegetables are my parent's conspiracy to keep me down. Lemme know next time you come to a wild, baseless conclusion.
    • Re:Horrible! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:14AM (#31356672) Journal

      "How many of these kids who may have grown up to enjoy classical music are turned off by it forever?"

      Zero.

      Actually not a single one of the chavs generally entertained by loitering, vandalism, and graffiti would ever have become your postulated classical aficionado, so we're good there.

    • Re:Horrible! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @09:06AM (#31357482)

      Kids in general hate classical music.

      As they don't have the listening skills yet to enjoy it.

      Non-Orchestral music which is popular today is rather light in texture. Vocal, Guitar(s), Bass, Drums vs. a full orchestra Violins, Violas, Cellos, Contrabass (for a string orchestra popular during the classical period) expenanded to Trumpits, Tubas, French Hones, Trombones, Flues, Oboes, Clarinetist, Timpani, and a variety of percussion having a much layered and complex set of works.

      The "Rock Band" Layout was based on the Minimalistic Movement of having just enough to do what you need. In many ways making music easier to listen to as there isn't much going on and you can focus on the lyrics, orchestral layout focuses on the music and you can have really stupid lyrics and the song will still be good.

  • by Ekhymosis (949557) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:43AM (#31355138) Homepage
    graffiti was written in special glow in the dark compounds all over london tubes in klingon, ancient greek, hieroglyphics and linear-b soon after.
  • by noz (253073) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:44AM (#31355142)

    A new renaissance will be born!

  • Ask the Artists (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dcollins (135727) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:44AM (#31355144) Homepage

    One might ask what the artists would think of this usage?

    Fortunately, we have a pretty similar situation with more current music being used a torture device against Guantanamo detainess, and the rock musicians who protested against that usage:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,672177,00.html [spiegel.de]

    • Fortunately, we have a pretty similar situation with more current music being used a torture device against Guantanamo detainess,

      Oh, yes, thank God we are torturing other people so that we might learn how people feel about their music being used to torture.

      Now, if we could only create a robotic toenail remover that was controlled entirely by emacs extensions, so we could get Richard Stallman's opinion on software freedom vs physical liberties and human rights.

  • Of course (Score:3, Funny)

    by gzipped_tar (1151931) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:47AM (#31355156) Journal

    Children perform the bad behaviors because of file sharing and disrespect of copyright. Playing music in the public for free only gets things worse.

    Will someone please think of the children?

    • Re:Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nospam007 (722110) * on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:09AM (#31355260)

      "Playing music in the public for free only gets things worse."

      Why do you think they tried classical music in the first place?
      Playing contemporary music costs more than removing the graffiti.

    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:55AM (#31355488)

      Strange. We're thinking of the children when we strip away the freedoms of the adults, and appearantly we're thinking of the adults when we're stripping away the freedoms of our kids. In other words, when we're taking away from everyone, we make everyone happy... or something like that must be the logic.

  • by AuraSeer (409950) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:48AM (#31355160)

    "Youths" don't stay young forever. Before very long they'll be adults, with legitimate reasons to be at stores and train stations and bus stops, but they still won't like the music. Any place that continues to play it will be driving away a whole lot of customers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slimjim8094 (941042)

      Teenagers don't have legitimate reasons to be at stores and train stations and bus stops?

      I can't figure out why kids would prefer to hang out at some bus stop or a train station when they could be hanging out somewhere cooler.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:28AM (#31355362)

      Classical music is quite enjoyable. You can point to plenty of musical/acoustic reasons why this is the case, as in the songs feature things that people find pleasing to hear. It is not the sort of thing that you require intense training to appreciate because it is all intellectual or something, and the actual sound is awful, it is simply nice to listen to.

      The primary reason that youth seems not to like it is a cool factor thing, not because the music itself is in some way offensive. When you grow up, you hopefully realize that is pretty stupid, and can enjoy it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "Youths" don't stay young forever. Before very long they'll be adults, with legitimate reasons to be at stores and train stations and bus stops, but they still won't like the music. Any place that continues to play it will be driving away a whole lot of customers.

      You are basically saying today's youths are so much different than youths a century ago. Possibly, taking into consideration that intelligence increases over generations, their intellect is more advanced and their reasoning for disliking classical music is taken with a great deal of consideration.

      I'll give you that I represent your words very freely indeed. But consider that Bach and Mozart are among the most skilled musicians that ever lived and that their works have stood against the tooth of time. I w

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by martas (1439879)
      good point, and frankly there's something about the uk that is very baffling to me: they seem to be a very anti-youth and anti-child society. can anyone explain to me why they seem to hate their new generation so much??
  • So? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Farmer Tim (530755) <roundfileNO@SPAMmindless.com> on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:51AM (#31355172) Journal

    Most adults I know can't stand classical music either, so I doubt this will have a long term effect on listening habits; who knows, being exposed to it might actually get more kids interested in it. And as someone in their late 30's who can still hear frequencies up to 20kHz I'd much rather this than those buzz generators, as long as the sound quality isn't too bad and they don't play too much Satie (I don't want to fall asleep and miss my bus).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Capsaicin (412918)

      Most adults I know can't stand classical music either.

      I would hazard a guess and say that the people who dreamt up this scheme don't either. I do wonder why this is news though, this idea was tried out at least a decade ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:55AM (#31355194)

    Where I live there is a notorious corner for crack cocain, prostitution, bloody fights, and anything you can imagine.

    Despite constant city owned surveillance equipment the activity continues.

    The local Diner installed speakers and pipes out jazz, classical, etc. I find it to be kind of nice mood music, for an elevator.

      It has cut down on the drug dealers, kids hanging out, street performers, and the homeless who are normally sitting on the sidewalk asking for change. Apparently the softly played music is enough of an annoyance that they go away.

    Miles Davis - 1
    Bach - 1
    Panoptic sort - 0

  • Video Games Live? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by marcansoft (727665) <hector@marcans[ ].com ['oft' in gap]> on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:04AM (#31355238) Homepage

    I wonder what they'll think of Video Games Live [videogameslive.com]. Will "repugnant" classical music + awesome video game tunes make their heads explode?

  • It's a sin! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bistromath007 (1253428) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:17AM (#31355298)
    Why do Brits keep reading dystopian fiction to get ideas? Why aren't we bombing them for it?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by martas (1439879)
      answer 1: that's the only kind of literature they're good at creating. why do you think shakespeare started in comedy but ended up in tragedy?
      answer 2: 'cause we don't want to waste perfectly good bombs. they're gonna destroy themselves pretty soon as it is.
  • by dido (9125) <dido&imperium,ph> on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:20AM (#31355326)

    Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, Op. 49. I'd like to hear them play that on the 5th of November at the Houses of Parliament...

  • Revenge... (Score:5, Funny)

    by guyminuslife (1349809) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:27AM (#31355352)

    There's only one solution. Bring a boom-box to the bus stops, and start blasting Dr. Dre like it's 1992.

    Take that, old farts!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      There's only one solution. Bring a boom-box to the bus stops, and start blasting Dr. Dre like it's 1992.

      Take that, old farts!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

      1992? Dude, you ARE one of the old farts!

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:28AM (#31355364)

    When did our kids becomes our enemies? It seems the UK do about everything in their power to alienate their youth. I really don't know about the UK, but is there really such a big problem with "unruly youths" that you have to bombard them with "deterrents" that seem to come from the privy closet of Marquis de Sade?

    What sadist comes up with those things? And why do I have the gut feeling that the only reason this is targeted at kids is just that they can't vote and thus can't kick the bastard off his comfy chair?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ae1294 (1547521)

      off his comfy chair?

      well I have to say, the chair is rather nice. I wasn't expecting that...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Opportunist (166417)

        C'mon, could someone post the obvious Spanish Inquisition joke so we get it out of the way and can continue a sensible discussion? Please?

        I'm usually the first to pick up a good punchline, but obvious jokes are boring.

    • by xtracto (837672) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:36AM (#31355676) Journal

      You may have such a stance because you do not know what horror is the young generation in the United Kingdom.

      I do, as I lived there, in one of the worst places regarding this (Liverpool) for about 4 years. Kids there do not care about anything, and as they know they have immunity, they will get into gangs just to do all sorts of vandalism.

      As an example, I know that if a kid commits a crime, the most that can happen to them is to get an "Asbo" (anti social behaviour order). I know some of them get a bracelet "asbo" for each crime. What is the result? the kids brag about who has more bracelets, because he is more "evil" or whatnot.

      In the time I lived there, a colleague of mine was hit by a paintball pellet in the eye while riding his bike from his Univ. office to his home; my flatmate was attacked by a van with kids shooting paintball pellets; another friend was thrown a car at him; another friend was walking at the street when some guys approached, took their glasses from his face and threw them (breaking them of course) to the ground. All this "just because". Oh yeah, and a Spanish friend was attacked and got his leg broken in 2 places.

      You see, the problem with this is that if any of these friends tried to defend themselves, according to English law, they would be attacking/harassing minors. And, because in addition we are foreigners (mainly PhD students) we would in addition be thrown out of the country.

      So yeah, in effect kids in the UK are pretty evil. But I agree with some of your posts in that the problem is not youths themselves but the general system who has forged them like that.

      What I saw while living there is that parents do not care about their children and their education. The government should make parents directly accountable for their kids actions: If your kid killed another kid then it is YOU who pays for the crime. If a kid robbed, then it is YOU who pay for the crime, as an adult. That way parents can continue to have the "freedom" of raising their kids as they want, but if the kids mess up, they will get the consequences.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by profplump (309017)

        Kids these days and their ASBOs. Back in your day the local constabulary just gave you a talking to, or maybe a quick swat upside the head. You didn't get any fancy bracelets, or an indefinitely recorded criminal record. Instead you had to create your own remembrances of youthful, disruptive behavior by painting stripes on the onions on your belt.

        • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @12:55PM (#31360268)

          You say it in jest, but I do actually think there's a grain of truth in that.

          Imagine you're young, poor and you happen to hang out with people your age because they're seen as cool, but they're actually criminals-to-be. Why? Because you're a kid and don't know better. You only know that they have the fancy stuff (well, 5-finger discount makes it possible...) and they're "tough" and nobody messes with them, actually, they mess with you when they feel like. Attractive? You bet.

          By the time you're 16, you have accumulated enough ASBOs and a file big enough to make you look like you're 20 when you step on it. That's also about the time when you rationalize: Fuck it, I'm fucked. With a record like this, I won't get a sensible job. So... why bother trying?

          And you start to impress the younger kids, who look up to you, how cool you are, because you have all the fancy stuff and are tough...

    • by nOw2 (1531357) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:57AM (#31355790)

      When did our kids becomes our enemies?

      Not kids in general, a specific underclass of kids that cause >40% of crime (aka 'anti-social behaviour' in modern terms).

      When they set fire to a car.
      When they sit fire to bins and push them, burning, up against the communal entrance to your apartment.
      When they break into your apartment complex's underground parking to have somewhere to drink, and smash everything on their way out.
      The 11 year old putting a brick through the windscreen of an Audi TT so he can spit on the seats, caught because his DNA was already on police records from previous arrests.
      Well, that's just this week. They were enemies before that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ettlz (639203)

      When did our kids becomes our enemies?

      The moment they threw stuff over everybody's cars. The moment they intruded into my garden and pissed all over it. The moment they ripped an ornament from its base and deposited it in a gutter fifty metres down the road.

    • by FreeUser (11483) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @05:08AM (#31356116)

      really don't know about the UK, but is there really such a big problem with "unruly youths" that you have to bombard them with "deterrents" that seem to come from the privy closet of Marquis de Sade?

      Yes.

      (I say this as an American living over here who has to listen to these gangs of kids roaming the neighbourhood all night, smashing things and vandalising the place, and I happen to live in a very good neighbourhood not far from our erstwhile prime minister. It was even worse when I lived on the South Bank.)

      I don't know what happened in UK society (it was obviuosly before I lived here)...hell, I don't understand what went wrong in American society to bring our fascist right-wing wackos out like postnuclear cockroaches, so I certainly cannot begin to divine what happened on this side of the pond. Certainly basic politeness, for which the UK was known for so long, has all but vanished, replaced by belligerance and in-your-face animosity as a default greeting that makes us Americans look downright polite by comparison (go figure). Whether it is down to this, or some more fundamental cultural misfiring I really don't know. What I do know, from personal experience, is that there are a bunch of kids over here (a small minority, but still more than enough) that are completely out of control and downright dangerous, and unlike the US, they don't stay tucked away in "the bad part of town", they roam everywhere and wreak havoc all over the place. If you're extremely unlucky, you own a house worth less than your mortgage in an area they like to roam, in which case you're pretty much finished (thank [deity] I didn't buy during the boom years).

      Playing classical music is hardly out of the Marquis de Sade playbook, and if it pushes the yobs on down the road, then I'm all for it. Beats having the police around to crack heads...which was Chicago's solution to a similar problem.

  • Look at Venezuela (Score:3, Informative)

    by frenchbedroom (936100) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:02AM (#31355522)

    Compare this to what they do in Venezuela... teaching classical music to poor kids from the ghettos.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Sistema [wikipedia.org]

  • by EEBaum (520514) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:02AM (#31355524) Homepage
    If being put in a room by myself with hours of Mozart was a punishment, my teacher's pet self would quite likely have started causing problems.

    I wonder if, to counter that, they would have the same consequence be a punishment to one kid and a reward to another.
  • Does not work. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NorQue (1000887) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:18AM (#31355586)
    I've been living in a flat at a park near a train station (Bielefeld, Germany, if anyone cares) for over a year. All kinds of shady people hung out there day in and day out, drinking tons of alcohol, taking drugs, on sunny days it must've been 150 people and still around 10-20 regulars when it rained. Worst thing, when it rained they used to hang directly before my house because it had a small porch, with the result of having one or two of those dunkards stumble into my house each time I opened the front door because they leaned against it. Well, annoying, but I didn't pay too much and the proximity to everything in inner city was excellent (it basically was at the midst of inner city), so I didn't care.

    One day the town officials decided that it would be a *great* idea to shun away the bums with classic music, so they played Beethoven's Für Elise in an infinite loop. Worst. Idea. Ever. The drunks didn't care at all, nothing in their numbers changed, they even seemed to like it. On a lot of occasions one could hear them loudly bawling the piano refrain melody of the song, but even more of the time you would just see them standing there, eyes all empty and being heavily drugged. They just did not care. I, on the other hand, got pretty annoyed after a few weeks. Even today I can't stand the Für Elise melody, pretty bad, considering it's one of his most popular works. I assume the only people annoyed by that were the sober people who had to pass there every day to go to work, shop, et cetera.
  • by benwiggy (1262536) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @03:51AM (#31355764)

    I heard one youth on a London bus recently, encouraging his friend to play out loud some trip-hop piece with violins and a drumbeat. "They can't tell you to turn it off, because it's Classic, innit?"

    But I don't think this is much to worry about. How many of us have instantly hated the music of our fathers when teenagers, only to discover its charms later in life?

  • It doesn't work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @04:55AM (#31356072) Journal
    It moves the problem, it doesn't solve it.
  • Hardly new (Score:3, Informative)

    by clickclickdrone (964164) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @04:56AM (#31356076)
    They've bene using this in the UK for 7 or 8 years at least now. I used to live near a railway station that played classical music in the evenings to deter the drug dealers etc that were hanging around or the kids that trashed it most weeks.
  • by dugeen (1224138) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @05:08AM (#31356112) Journal
    Trust New Labour to turn Art into a means of oppression.
  • by bytesex (112972) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:06AM (#31356640) Homepage
    A lot of people here argue that somehow, people will be people, young and old, and if you're going to ruin it for them now, you'll have ruined it for them forever. A lot of this commentary is made from the preconception that the youths targeted here are of the sort that will eventually land on their feet, live in the adult world, and be responsible citizens. I would like to point out (much in contrast with my own ideas on how society ought to function) that this is Britain we're talking about. I know this is difficult to imagine for someone not from the Perfid Albion itself, but there you have it. So no, these youngsters aren't innocent, just a bit under-educated little angels otherwise full of promise - these are wilfully malevolent, purposely stupid little monsters, only good for the dole and the pub. They will not have a job that pays taxes in their lives and they will probably die from something crime-, smoke- or alcohol-related. Sure, someone let them down along the way: their parents, the government, their infrastructure, whatever, but by the time that these boys start hanging out on street-corners, it's already way to late to do anything about it. They're a lost cause, and they know it, and the people who play classical music in order to get rid of them, know it. So stop arguing like they're being treated too harshly - if you want them treated with a pussy-glove, it should have been done years, years ago. Considering the alternatives, playing classical music to them *is* treating them softly.

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