As Muzak’s roster of clients continued to expand in the 1950’s, the company increased their research efforts in order to provide a superior product to their customers. While new delivery and signal improvements were a top priority, so too were the technological development and scientific refinement of the music itself.
The chart below illustrates the manner in which these elements are varied by design in each 15-minute segment of Muzak programming.
Muzak’s engineers developed a concept they called Stimulus Progression, a method of programming playlists with increasing and decreasing tempos throughout the day. Playlists were programmed in 15-minute blocks starting with the least stimulating and advancing to the most stimulating selection to counteract people’s natural tendency to feel fatigue. The result was a sense of forward movement and change, designed to mitigate boredom or melancholy. In fact, several studies indicated that Stimulus Progression increased concentration, lowered blood pressure and increased worker’s overall productivity and morale – making Muzak a sought after product by business owners and their employees alike.
Stimulus Progression Catalog – Available from no other source, these albums were specially prepared in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s to demonstrate the contemporary nature of Muzak and the concept of Stimulus Progression. Some of them include six selections of popular hits on one side and six original Muzak compositions on the other, evidence that Muzak not only recorded its own music but also created some of its own compositions.