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Kraigmo's avatar

What's the point of listening to a rock CD or rock station at low volume at work? Why not just turn it off or change it?

Asked by Kraigmo (7882points) March 1st, 2010

Why do some people, when working, feel the need to listen to rock music on their FM boombox at low volume?

The reason for low-volume is simple: they’re at work, and cannot play anything at a high volume. Okay, so that’s logical.

But… why rock music? Rock music was designed for high-volume… so why do some people feel “comforted” by it on a crappy little radio at low-volume? All you can hear is the electric guitar and nothing else. All rock music sounds the same at low volume: just repetitious electric guitar.

So why do some people still turn the low-volume radio to their favorite rock station while at work?

What are they getting out of it? What possible comfort or enjoyment comes from that?

Is it possible they’re just afraid of their own minds’ silence or chatter, and need noise to cloud it up? Is that what’s going on?

And if they cannot play high volume sounds, but still need something to listen to, why not find songs that actually still sound good at low volumes? That would be old-music or acoustic. Rock might be someone’s favorite genre, but what point is there in trying to listen to it if you can’t even hear the lyrics?

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11 Answers

jfos's avatar

1) Your opinion of low-volume rock music is exactly that—your opinion. Maybe you can only hear the electric guitar. What if someone only enjoys rock music? Why would Joe Blow be more logical in listening to something that he doesn’t like at a low volume?

2) As for what music sounds good at low volumes, only each individual can decide for herself.

3) I don’t think there’s a more general reason for why people listen to low-volume music at work than because it can be enjoyable to have background music. Why do movies contain music? Why do radios HAVE a low volume setting?

Aethelwine's avatar

What is old-music? Not all rock music sounds the same. You sound like an old person saying “all that rap music sounds the same”

Personally, I connect with the music more than I do the lyrics. It is the music that I pay attention to first.

great answer @jfos

Kraigmo's avatar

All rock music DOES sound the same if the volume knob is set at 3 or 2, like they do in shops.

My favorite music is rock, by the way. And the tinny little sound of electric guitars on a radio, is nothing compared to what the song actually sounds like when played at a clearly audible volume. There’s nothing in common between the two at all.

It’s as if those who listen to rock at low volumes are doing so not because they actually are enjoying it… but doing so because they wish they were enjoying it.

jfos's avatar

@Kraigmo Respectfully, all rock music does not sound the same at a low volume. Even at a low volume, a listener can hear the speed, the mood, and basically what instruments are playing. Some rock songs don’t even feature an electric guitar, some are only piano, etc.

davidbetterman's avatar

“What’s the point of listening to a rock CD or rock station at low volume at work?”

The listener likes the music and is willing to sacrifice the volume to keep his job and still gets to hear awesome rock music.

“What possible comfort or enjoyment comes from that?”

The enjoyment of hearing rock music. It is still the same song at low volumes.

“Is it possible they’re just afraid of their own minds’ silence or chatter, and need noise to cloud it up? Is that what’s going on?”

Now you are projecting your inner problems onto others.

“what point is there in trying to listen to it if you can’t even hear the lyrics?”
You need to see a doctor…(an ear doctor, not a shrink.)

Cruiser's avatar

Low rock is better than no rock! Rock On!!

jfos's avatar

@Kraigmo I agree that rock music is better loud, but sometimes circumstances limit your ability to do whatever you want. Or at least provide harsh enough consequences.

stratman37's avatar

Uh, they said I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from
nine to eleven while I’m collating….

But, no, no, no. I know you’re allowed to, I was just thinking, like a
personal favor, y’know?

I, I told Bill that if Sandra’s going to listen to her headphones while
she’ working, I can listen to the radio while I’m collating -


bobbinsgalore's avatar

Personally even at low volumes I can still hear the lyrics just fine. Which instruments/parts of the song you can hear at low volumes is also going to depend on how crappy the radio is. I’d suggest people listen to rock music of low volumes because a) they enjoy it, and even at low volumes it’s the same music which they know and appreciate, and b) it tunes out general office noise of footsteps, clocks ticking, printers, etc, making it easier to concentrate on the task at hand.

DeanV's avatar

@stratman37 Great movie.

And as for the “all rock music sounds the same at a low volume”, I’m going to let that one pass…

philosopher's avatar

I can not tolerate music too loud. I have left concerts with my ears ringing. Thankfully I still here well.
I have friends in the business with hearing loss. There is loud and there is blasting.
Ask most experienced Musicians and they will tell you to protect your hearing.
When your working if you are lucky enough to be able to play music your fortunate. Many corporations will not allow any music.

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