HomeNewsUnited States With The Largest Homeless Population Has Begun Using Traditional Music...

United States With The Largest Homeless Population Has Begun Using Traditional Music As A Tool In Its War On The Homeless

Near downtown Los Angeles, at the Westlake/MacArthur Boulevard Metro station, a struggle is raging. Which weapon do you prefer? Powerful orchestral pieces blasting at full volume.

In January, L.A. Metro management and security, in coordination with law enforcement agencies, began executing a pilot programme at the station, which includes playing classical music and installing floodlights at both ends of the station platform.

In an email sent to The Times, Metro explained that the music is a curated, royalty-free playlist with works by composers like Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Mozart.

The lights and music at L.A. Metro stations are meant to deter homeless people and cut down on crime. However, opinions on the use of melody are split; some see it as a form of torture. Many others think it’s a band-aid solution that won’t fix what’s really wrong with the station.

This Was Inevitable, As It Usually Is

Classical and popular music both have a history of serving as tools of intimidation and pain infliction. Strongman Manuel Noriega came out of hiding in the Vatican embassy in Panama’s capital in 1989 after being exposed to heavy metal and pounding rock.

Metallica was included in the infamous “Guantanamo Bay” playlist, which was used a a torture device on Iraqi captives during the Global War on Terror.

According to musicologist and author of “Music in American Law Enforcement and Punishment” Lily E. Hirsch, By appealing to people’s preexisting associations with classical music, you want to win them over and put them at ease.

To make their clients feel at home and to increase sales, several high-end cheese shops feature classical music.

Also read: A Democrat From New York Is Proposing A Ban On Keeping Elephants, Kangaroos, And Other Exotic Animals As Pets

Classical music, according to Hirsch, does not inherently evoke such a reaction, but such cultural associations can be exploited in order to accomplish a variety of goals, such as discouraging some listeners while inviting others.

Hirsch observes that when classical music is handled in sinister and ominous ways, it can evoke a dystopian and unsettling atmosphere not unlike that of “The silence of a Hundred Lambs.

“The music at the MacArthur Park train station was compared by an individual on Twitter to the score from Stanley Kubrick’s psychologically terrifying film, “A Bloody Orange.”

The volume of a sound can be amplified or diminished based on the listener’s proximity to the source.

Noise levels are greater in enclosed locations like a tube station due to the presence of hard surfaces and high ceilings that allow sound to reverberate.

Also read: Identifying Alvin Bragg. A Career Of Grit, Fortitude, And Standing Up For What’s Right

L.A. Attempts To Address Its Growing Homeless Population

Officials in Los Angeles attempted to move the city’s burgeoning homeless population into safe houses and hotels during the covid outbreak. However, now that the pandemic’s effects have subsided, homeless people are once again relocating to public spaces like tube stations.

Now that fewer people are using the metro because of rising crime and drug overdoses, the mayor of Los Angeles is attempting to clean out its stations as well.

To evict its homeless squatters, the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro has started playing classical music at extremely loud volumes. It has been reported that the station is utilising extremely strong floodlights within the terminal (ostensibly to deter sleeping and various other shady activities).

Some may view these actions as cruel, extreme, or indirect solutions to a problem that should be left to law enforcement.

The LA Times, however, labels the initiative a “pilot programme that L.A. Metro management and security, in collaboration with law enforcement,” and notes that it has been in testing since January. There are many who argue that the proposed remedy doesn’t really fix anything at all.

Also read: Attack And Robbery On A New York City Tube Train: Nypd

Los Angeles’ Classical Music Faces Criticism

According to the LA Daily News, Metro stated that the goal of the programme is to “create an environment that is acceptable for spending a brief period of period transit via the station, yet not conductive to hours-long idling.” Some people, however, remain skeptical, stating that this method is cruel and barbaric.

According to musicologist Lily Hirsch’s interview with the LA Times, LA is developing “hierarchies of sound,” with classical music being used to “attract and make particular individuals feel comfortable.”

And you see that at fancy cheese businesses that play piano music as they anticipate people are going to feel like they’re a part of a few elite luxurious world and consequently they’re going to spend more money’, Hirsch continued, remarking, “It’s like an animal marking the area until you hear its signal and go, ‘OK, this isn’t for me. Those in their forties and older can afford this.

So-called classical music solutions are nothing new to Los Angeles. According to reports, the city has been using the same strategies outside of the neighborhood 7/11 gas stations since 2019 (pre-pandemic) with much the same outcomes.

The percentage of homeless without shelter has risen by 6% before the epidemic began. Los Angeles has seen a monthly increase or decrease in the number of homeless people owing to cleanup operations of up to 24% during the pandemic, although officials caution that the numbers continue to rise overall.

Also read: This Couple Was Married By Mistake Near Where Trump Was Arrested: I Was Unprepared For This.


Hirsch thinks the blaring classical music is having the opposite effect he intended. She explains that playing classical music in town squares and in front of shops has long been done to indicate who is welcome and who is not.

Chandan Panda
Chandan Panda
Honors student who is knowledgeable in accounting and excellent at conveying that knowledge to others. aiming to make the most of one's abilities and to take part in things while keeping a clear head. As I've progressed through life, I've picked up skills in a number of areas, including content modification, photo/video editing, and even some creative writing. In my spare time, I like a wide variety of activities, including watching anime, riding my bike, and listening to music.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular