In the early 1930’s a scheme was developed for using telephone circuits to pipe music into places which leased the Muzak service.…In 1957 the Muzak library consisted of 49,000 selections (about 7,500 of which were in use at any one time), each recorded on a 16-inch disk. In the New York office, housed in the large Muzak Building, these selections were combined and made up into groups of three eight-hour reels of magnetic tape, each group comprising a twenty-four-hour sequence.…Muzak became the world’s largest user of telephone line networks. It was conservatively estimated that in one way or another, music by Muzak was being heard by about fifty million Americans daily.

—Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image, (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), 175-76.

Bookmark the permalink.