Hear me out: Ambient music is cooler than you think.

It also has a more storied reputation than one might imagine based on its reputation as something that jingles to remind consumers that it’s the Christmas season.

Few people consider the world of ambient music, tinny melodies pumped into elevators to accompany uncomfortable ascents, as something that exists very similarly to today’s bestselling artists. Through years of rebellious experimentation and long studio hours, ambient music is not what it used to be.

Muzak to Music

Perhaps the thing that people truly misunderstand is the point of ambient music. It’s often confused with classical music, and both are commonly used to fill silence and accompany work days and productivity.

This use of classical music has definitely been pushed more to this by studies that suggest listening to classical music can make you smarter and more focused; however, the purpose of ambient music is much different.


Ambient music was designed to allow the listener to enhance the perception of his or her surroundings. One of the pioneers of the genre, Brian Eno adopted the term “ambient” for his opus, “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” (1978).

He also used it to refer to the genre as a whole, citing Muzak’s bad rap as motivation to find a new word for his musical style. Eno defines ambient music as something “designed to induce calm and space to think.” This description also enables one to see a clearer difference between ambient and classical music, which are often used to fulfill similar tasks of providing sounds to concentrate to.

Classical music is intended to evoke an emotional response, and in the case of those who either enjoy ambient music or are musically trained, this may be more distracting than productive for those trying to focus. This is the opposite of ambient music’s role, which is designed for you to focus on your surroundings.

Today there are companies that specialize in producing scientifically backed ambient sounds, like Focus@Will.

This is not the Muzak of the past, but music specifically designed to block distracting background noises and allow the user to zone in on their tasks. For the music you need to get things done, companies like Mood Media and South Central A\V can help you determine what kind of music fits with your brand.

Did you know that having certain music choices can greatly influence consumer buying habits?

Maybe all your brand was missing was the right soundtrack.