Waiting tunes on mobiles can jar on the nerves

January 21st, 2009 - 11:02 am ICT by IANS  

Vrindavan Jan 21 (IANS) Imagine there’s an emergency at home and you call an acquaintance for help on your mobile. The recorded voice at the other end asks you to wait - at times it can stretch to eternity - as you hear some high voltage background music played repeatedly, irritating you and perhaps subtly adding to your depression.Why has no thought gone into the selection of background score?

“The requirements can vary according to the needs and circumstances, and repetitive music can play on your nerves,” says music researcher Acharya Trigunateet Jaimini from Vrindavan.

Jaimini, head of department, Sitar, Mangalayatan University, in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, has after a six-month research on waiting tunes and hello tunes on cell phones, called for a review of what “is routinely dished out in the name of music to customers”.

The researcher studied the effects of background music, hello tunes, repeat music and waiting tunes before concluding that telecom companies were not doing a service to either the music world or the customers.

Somebody who calls to get some urgent information or a distressed caller wanting to register a complaint would love soothing musical strains to lift the spirits.

“Right now the service providers or the call centres do not bother about the mood or the mental state of the harassed caller who finds the ‘press one or two or three’ instruction message hardly amusing. He may be in a desperate hurry to connect to an ambulance service or get some information from the police. While the customer is made to wait, he is subjected to soporific or painful scores,” Jaimini told IANS in an interview.

“A waiting customer kept on hold would immensely benefit from a melodious background score which can act as a theraupetic intervention, instead of cacophonous and worn out compositions. If the customer could hear an original sitar composition he would not only feel enriched and refreshed but would also experience climbing to a higher spiritual realm through creative music,” Jaimini said.

He cited the example of one of the service providers repeating a brief score endlessly, which irritates some people. “If the caller were to hear Yanni’s piano recital or a Ravi Shankar composition for half a minute or one minute, it would be an altogether new experience,” Jaimini added.

Clearly variety is lacking in waiting music. “If companies change their outlook on this, a whole lot of new musicians in the country would stand to benefit as it will open a new market for their creative works.”

Even in our waiting rooms or at reception counters, no thought is given to the selection of paintings or interior d├ęcor. Blue landscapes with statues of the Buddha or Mahavira would be ideal for waiting counters, Jaimini said.

(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at brij.k@ians.in)

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