Music, Maestro, Please

I wasn’t a fan of the classical music being played at Vauxhall underground station when the scheme first started, I have to admit. There’s something very patronising about the assumption that the yob element will be so horrified by the sound of a few violins playing in harmony that they will go and do their violence elsewhere. And I resented the implication that we passengers who remained were such simple creatures that a little soothing music would be enough to calm us into acquiescence. None of that has changed. But recently I’ve noticed something strange: I’m starting to look forward to my weekly blast of music when I renew my ticket at the station.

But weekly blast of what, precisely? I am, I have to admit, woefully ignorant about music – I could probably recognise the famous bits of no more than half-a-dozen pieces at a push and that’s it – but now I’m curious. I want to know more, find out more, hear more than a few bars of the stuff. There’s a wasted opportunity here. Why no playlist up on the service whiteboards, no announcements (Northern line trains are subject to delay due to a signalling fault in the Camden Town area. Meanwhile, here’s the London Philharmonica with Beethoven’s Ninth …) no London Underground Classical music CD? When they started doing poems on the underground they didn’t just whack the poems up with no titles and not tell us who wrote them. So come on, TfL, take this opportunity to do more than herd us like cattle – lead us into the light.

And yes, this post is just an excuse to finally use the classical music channel on 20six


13 responses to “Music, Maestro, Please

  1. Oh! I do rather like a touch of classical music, that is a really good idea, Disgruntled.

    If you want to get some good classical music, eMusic offer a free trial and have a lot of the London Philharmonic on.


  2. They do it at my local station too and it’s pretty entertaining – I wouldn’t have thought that Ride of the Valkyries was one of the best choices if you’re trying to stop trouble, but what do I know….

  3. Katja – you get a better class of trouble though. Never mind graffitti, invade Poland.

    Pete – I’d just like to know what I’m hearing … then I could find it and download it or even *gasp* buy it…

  4. Expect a sharp spike in traffic as followers of the 20six classical music channel flock hither.

  5. you know I only do it for the hits from crazed classical music fans …

  6. Don’t joke about the London Underground Classical music CD – it’s only a matter of time. Or it will be LU Chillout?

  7. What I’m really dreading is them switching to christmas-themed music in December …

  8. Don’t be silly they’ll switch it well before then (ho, ho ho!)

  9. Oh, please, no. I’ll have to start renewing my ticket on line

  10. I miss my classical music, now the builder have taken it away…

    Mind you – Handle Water Music was something else, along the banks of the river, while riding the District…

    Either you word thing is on it or it is appling that I smell – SCuNc!!!

  11. Tubedude – why did the builders take your music away? I thought they were improving your station, not vandalising it.

  12. …when the builders put in the new equipment, they took out th eold gear. Sadly they took the CD player too, although it was only 6 months old…

    Maybe the CD could be called “Classical Underground Moments” and with each piece introduced by a droning voice “…customer information…”

    I have of course emailed Tim O’Toole to suggest this.

    Maybe we could give them away with annual tickets – or in 12 monthly installments?? abit like London Undeground through the seasons??

  13. Or you could use your oyster pre-pay credit to download it onto your iPod. …

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