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