not quite muzak
Nate Patrin at Pitchfork has a great link-ridden piece on The Strange World of Library Music:
If there's such a thing as ephemeral music, this is it—recordings that were meant for a certain moment and usually filed away when that moment has passed, when Hammond B3s make way for synths, or disco rhythms turn passe after the rise of new wave. They give us a picture of the way day-to-day music sounded decades ago, outside either the bounds of pop-chart aspirations or the critically-acclaimed underground.
I love the idea of listening to the evolution of music genres through the background music of workday produced television, radio, commercials. It's the "not quite muzak," the soundtrack that invades your head while you're paying attention to other things.