10. October 2008 · 6 comments · Categories: News

The Springfield News-Sun wrote a funny story about an Urbana, Ohio, man who had been convicted of playing his car stereo too loud. At sentencing, the judge sentenced 24 year old Andrew Vactor to a $150 fine but gave an incentive of listening to classical music for 20 hours and having the fee reduced to only $35 if he sat through it. Vactor, a fan of rap music, tried and failed at the experiment.

The Ohio newspaper wrote:

“He only made it through about 15 minutes” of one of three classical disks the probation department keeps on hand, said Chief Probation Officer Glenda Runkle.

Well … if I had been forced to listen to a type of music I didn’t like I suspect I just might pay the fine too.

I’m really tired of classical music being turned into punishment, and if someone thinks that by forcing someone to listen to it they’ll wind up liking it, I think they will, for the most part, fail.

I read it here.


  1. hahah, only fifteen minutes!? that’s not even a whole orchestral piece!
    was the punishment that he had to listen to 20 hours of classical music in one sitting? if so, then i would have paid the larger fine also, because it is just too intense listening to ANYthing for that long.

    but good point, i don’t think classical music should be used as a punishment also. isn’t it supposed to be a form of expression and enjoyment???

  2. In Tempe AZ (where Arizona State is located) they used classical music to drive away crowds of college kids.

    The local gov’t setup these huge speakers in the streets to drive away rowdy late-night college revelers who had started to get out of control for a time. The sad part is that it worked. For me it was great – I could enjoyed downtown Tempe unimpeded by drunk, rowdy college boys.

  3. I read a different report on that story. The judge gave him the choice to reduce his fee by listening to the classical music because she wanted him to see what it was like for the people who were forced to listen to his rap music. The rap listener said he didn’t mind listening to the classical music but he didn’t have time with his basketball practice schedule to listen to all the required listening. I wonder if he tried an iPod with earplugs during basketball practice. It might have helped! Ha!

  4. Dunno, for me it would be the classic elevator music/muzak that would be the hard thing to listen to – all-string versions of Beatle’s hits, pop songs with (slightly under-pitch) clarinet replacing the vocals…actually, Wiki has something similar on the teen-repelling theme, but in Denmark: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_music

    (On a side note, I just now hit the Horndog blog and got the Lily Tomlin quote…for those who don’t know what I’m talking about you’ll just have to hit his page until you see it – the link is listed to the right (scrolling might be required)–>

    And that Trumpeter’s Revenge clip made me lol…although the barriers I’ve seen are a bit more substantial, might need the Blackjack Terminate-with-extreme-prejudice mouthpiece…and for some reason the trombone players often seemed to think there should be a barrier between me and them, in addition to the one the trumpets had – must be jealous, I guess.)

  5. Too weird: I heard this story on the radio as I got on the bus today. That is, I heard radio commentaters making fun of it as I got on the bus today. My conversation on the way to school was how much you’d have to pay me to listen to 20 hours of rap music.

    You’re right though, that isn’t going to make anyone like classical music, just like listening to 20 hours of rap wouldn’t help my view of it. (trust me: at my summer job someone had the bright idea to bring in a radio and all anyone wanted to listen to was hiphop…) ha, I guess that means I’d do it for about $7 an hour so 20 hours would be worth $140?

  6. Benaroya hall is in a tough part of town and fronts a major bus stop that often attracts unsavory passengers.
    Why they pipe classical music to the street is a mystery.