Richard Hill-Brown is starting a new subgroup (open to all) to campaign against the curse of intrusive, irrelevant and often deafening piped music on television documentaries. He may set up an on-line petition. Do contact him at email@example.com if you hate this pollution of often excellent programmes.
written on 20-Feb-2013
Coronation Street has music in The Rovers now - why I wonder, it's not necessary and very intrusive.
written on 21-Feb-2013
Alan McKinney says:
I have lodged a string of complaints to the BBC about this very issue (21 since the turn of the year) but the question I am pursuing is - why is 'background' music played in factual programmes as the narrator is imparting information (well researched and therefore of interest). To date II have received what I can only say are standard responses. Why I say this is there was one time I actually was speculating that 'Country File', on a particular programme, had undertaken a consumer response test as on one of its reports there was no music, another very soft music with the other being the normal 'background' loud music. Initially I received the 'standard responses' and then another apologising for the earlier response but neither addressed the issues of why music at all!!!!
written on 17-Apr-2013
john spencer says:
I agree totally that documentary programmes do not need background music. The volume level is irrelevant - though frequently it is too loud. Just leave out the music.
If you set up a petition I'll sign it and send it on to my contacts.
written on 17-Apr-2013
Bryan Cooke says:
Has anyone actually come across a symphony orchestra in the middle of a forest? If there were birds in there you couldn't hear them, and as an ex-RAF type if I'm shown a Lancaster flying over I want to hear the noise of Merlin engines, but no, some fool director/producer has decided he thinks I should be listening to the Dambusters' March. AGAIN. This music, irrelevant, intrusive and extremely annoying, has ruined many an otherwise excellent programme for me.
written on 19-Apr-2013
Alex Melville-Mason says:
My husband and I would both take part in a petition against intrusive, loud, unnecessary music on TV programmes - And definitely where there is simultaneous speech. I would extend it to drama as well as documentaries. I often switch off programmes because of the music. One man's music is another's cacophony in my view. I'm not anti-music at all, in fact i have pretty eclectic taste, but want it when and how I choose and not when it's imposed by others. I'm careful not to impose my music on others; why can't broadcasters have the same courtesy? This is not to mention all the poor souls who, through hearing problems, are excluded from enjoying programmes due to the inclusion of so many layers of sound. They are license-payers and watchers/ listeners of other channels too. Isn't this country trying to become more inclusive of disadvantaged people? Why are media producers so uncaring? How is it that they are allowed to be?
written on 24-Apr-2013
Sharon Cooke says:
Please do go ahead with the petition - we here will all gladly sign it. It baffles me why, despite all the complaints which are made nothing is being done to reduce back ground music on TV. It is exceptionally annoying to hard of hearing people who have to have the volume turned up to hear dialogue and then muted because of the distortion to their hearing aids from the music. Yes, subtitles are all very well but, as someone has pointed out, they are often incorrect or out of synch. If you do set up the petition I will forward it to everyone I know.
written on 03-May-2013
Brenda and Peter Mathews says:
We agree whole heartedly with the comments given by previous listeners. My husband is very hard of hearing. He gets his headphones adjusted correctly for the programme's speech but once music is played, it is hopeless for him. Of course this is so frustrating for him - and for me too, as I get upset that he's missing out on what is happening.
We would definitely sign a petition against background music.
written on 29-May-2013
David Godin says:
I'm an ex BBC radio sound engineer, retired early owing to hearing impairment. I have to admit that while my hearing was good I never understood why people had problems with background music, which I was guilty of adding to documentaries and programme trails. How wrong I was; now I have hearing problems I understand what a dreadful annoyance background music is. Fortunately I am not so deaf that I cannot enjoy music (thank God for Radio 3!) but I would not want someone speaking all over my music and don't want music played all over someone saying something I want to hear. Like many others in my position I have lost the ability to separate music and speech the way I once used to. I would have thought in these days of digital broadcasting it would not be beyond the whit of BBC engineers to use the red button to offer a background music free alternative; perhaps the same idea could be used to offer sports commentary without such deafening crowd effects too.
I would gladly sign a petition to reduce or eliminate background music on television and radio documentaries.
written on 03-Jun-2013
Guy Legge [http://www.guylegge.com] says:
Music dictates our emotional state and in a documentary this conflicts with the facts speaking for themselves. Furthermore film operates in a sound environment and not just a visual one therefore producers should concentrate on skilful recording of this acoustic environment to buttress the issues portrayed.
written on 13-Jun-2013
Elaine Butterworth says:
We do not need any background music unless it is a programme with no dialogue!!! Definitely would sign a petition. Watching a programme now - Life Savers where the music is playing whilst the doctor & voiceover are speaking. WHY? By the way I am not hard of hearing. There are too many programmes, especially dramas spoilt by this intrusion.
written on 14-Jun-2013
Jennifer Bate says:
If Richard arranges a petition we will sign it. Maybe it's because I am a trained musician with NO hearing problems? As I've heard the excuse that there is nothing wrong with background music and its only older people who are hard of hearing who complain!! However my husband and I are totally sick of all noisy and intrusive background music on the tv. I would like to ask the sound engineer who is responsible for allowing such inane rubbish (which mostly consists of repetitive irritating major or minor thirds) while we're trying to listen to people speaking. It's so frustrating as the music (or should I say 'noise'),makes no melodic sense and I would be very grateful for an answer as up until now, I just get fobbed off with silly excuses. We look forward to signing your petition.
written on 22-Sep-2013
John Ling says:
I accept that hearing-impaired people have the most obvious reason to complain about background music. My complaint is that background music is intrusive and appears like an attempt to manipulate the viewer's response to the content of the programme. The content and script themselves should be enough to engage attention. Moreover the soundtrack is usually banal, especially the low-budget piano music. Is the technology around to allow the viewer to switch it on and off, like subtitles? How about a music-free separate channel? Or offering music-free versions for download? The latest programme to be disfigured is 'The Story of the Jews' – a fascinating and otherwise well-presented series that I can hardly bear to watch because of the near-incessant background music.
written on 23-Sep-2013
Colin Urquhart says:
On 5 December 2007 there was a BBC programme called Nature of Britain which, by pressing he red button, allowed the programme to be heard as a music-free narrative option. I thought my problem with intrusive noise had been solved!
In March 2008 I wrote to the BBC enquiring about the situation and to ask for listeners to be given the choice to view with or without background music. The response said that this was a trail service and made the case that as some people liked background music they couldn't please everybody. However, it seems clear to me that giving the option on the red button does exactly that.
The technology is there and has been tested. In my opinion it was absolutely successful and should be implemented.
Please set up a petition, which I shall be delighted to sign.
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