Is ‘Lo-fi Beats To Study/Relax To’ The New Muzak?

I've been fascinated by this trend ever since I read Jody Amable's essay on why lo-fi hip-hop is so conducive to concentration. There are countless YouTube channels — like this one — that just plays this type of music endlessly. In this article Sofie Mikhaylova digs into the phenomenon some more:

Some music is designed to be unheard. “Background music,” you’ll call it. “Elevator music.” “Study music.” You know exactly what it sounds like, but you can’t name a single song. It’s the instrumental stuff you pop on in the background, hour-block loops off YouTube to help you study, or to just have something going while you do a mindless task. It’s the music you hear in a hotel lobby, kind of jazzy, somewhat upbeat, certainly not morose but, overall, bland and unmemorable. It’s not music; it’s Muzak.


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