Classical music, used to prevent crime and loiterers:

Just feet from a methadone clinic at a grimy crossroads in far east Portland, Ore., transit officials and police are hoping a touch of class will chase off the vagrants, vandals and ne’er-do-wells that loiter near a busy transit stop.

Since November, the regional transit department has approved the playing of classical music in an effort to ward off the kind of crimes that happen when people just hang around.

A bill making its way through the Oregon Legislature would expand the program to all light rail stops in Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties deemed high-crime areas by police or residents.

“Classical music” in this case means opera, chamber music, choral pieces and music requiring a full orchestra. On a drizzly Wednesday morning at a pilot site in Portland, it was Bizet’s aria from Carmen, the one that rolls to a slow boil as she tells the audience she only loves those who refuse to love her back.


I can’t tell you how tired I am of this idea, and yet I would be quite happy to hear some classical music at stores, rather than the stuff they are currently playing. So oh well!

But … here’s something that just hit me … while they are suggesting classical music will rid us of these annoying youth who are causing such a ruckus (or something) how many movies and TV shows feature serial killers who adore classical music? Really now … so perhaps we’ll rid these areas of kids and bring in the serial killers, eh? Hmm.

The best line of the article was this:

“You may not actually be safer, but you feel safer.”

Okay then.


  1. Be careful what you wish for — the last time I heard classical music in a store (other than a music store), it was a Muzak rendition of the Pachelbel Canon in D. It was definitely gag-worthy!

  2. Ah, but I’m talking music not muzak! Huge diff! :-)

    (I wouldn’t call any muzak, be it classical or pop or anything else, other than what it is, which is horrible, awful, no good muzak!)