Classical music ‘encourages more acceptable behaviour’

Classical music ‘encourages more acceptable behaviour’


norman lebrecht

July 03, 2017

A spokesperson for McDonald’s said: ‘We have tested the effects of classical music in the past and played it in some of our restaurants as it encourages more acceptable behaviour.

‘Typically, classical music would be played from early evening onwards and, in some cases, on certain nights in a small number of restaurants.’



  • Nik says:

    At least they’re not saying that classical music is a cheap and effective dispersal device, as TFL did when they announced they’d be using it as such as Brixton tube station.

    • Ulick Magee says:

      It can be cheap if they use a Muzak compilation loop beloved of shopping malls! Last time I visited the Great Northern Mall in Belfast, I noted some of the pieces in the loop, Boccherin’s minuet, Mozart Eine kleine nacht music, Vivaldi Spring 4 seasons, Offenbach Tales of Hoffmann Barcarolle, Brahms Wiegenlied, Schubert moment musiciaux f minor, Pachelbel’s Canon without the gigue, Barber Adagio for strings and Chopin Nocturne op 9 no 2. Malls and other public venues have been using loops to deter antisocial behaviour on the LUAS in Dublin, effectively. I doubt Schonberg or Stravinsky would work though, maybe Night on a bare mountain!

      Here is a link to a scheme done in Scotland.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    There is a McDonald’s in downtown Dallas that resorted to classical music to run off the teen-age gang members, loiterers, and nere-do-wells.

    • Brendan O'Dowda says:

      There are certain classical pieces which if played on a loop say every 20 minutes are very effective against deterring yahoos and anti-social behaviour, for example in Dublin on the LUAS tram they now do the Major General song from Pirates of Penzance, every 20 minutes! When I visit Dublin I always go on that LUAS line as I like Pirates of Penzance especially the Major General’s song a real tongue twister and everyone else joins in with me!

  • Ben says:

    The owners must have read that Norman’s blog last week or so, in which some provocative paintings of Beethoven and Mozart making out were posted.

    i.e. McDonald’s just want more customers to go there with an expectation of an happy ending, much like some Big5 orchestras promoting an “unforgettable romantic evening” for young listeners when Bruckner and Berio are on the program.

  • Barbara says:

    I’ve always wondered why McDonald’s call their cafes – restaurants. I think of a restaurant as a place where you sit down, are given a menu, make a choice and your food is prepared and brought to you.

    • Bruce says:

      In the US they call them “stores,” as in “this coupon can be redeemed at any one of our stores” — or at least they did when I was a kid. Don’t know what they call them now.

    • Cyril Blair says:

      If there’s one thing McDonald’s is NOT, it’s a cafe….McDonald’s is a white box with seating. Seating designed to be slightly uncomfortable so you will not stay long.

  • John says:

    Hey, a Big Mac and some Mahler? I’m in!

  • Nick says:

    Where I live Starbucks has been using a lot of short classical works in many of its outlets for almost 2 years now. Not to deter rowdy behaviour because Starbucks here is too expensive for many, But it seems to have increased attendance from my occasional observations.

  • Ken says:

    The Major general song from Pirates of Penzance if repeated at 20 min intervals has been shown to be effective at deterring ASB on the LUAS Red line in Dublin, folk on the Luas now sing along when its played!

  • Alexander says:

    what ? you guys visit McDonalds ? hopefully not for the reason to listen to classics … kidding, as usual 😉