It’s a fundamental aspect of these spaces, and as such, it’s always very carefully selected.
If you have contemplated this topic, or your interest has piqued now that we’re touching on it, keep reading! Let’s take a deeper look at how casinos select their music and investigate how music affects people. Once we get to the bottom of these questions, you’ll understand just how important it is for casinos to choose the right soundtrack. There’s loads to delve into, so settle in and get ready to take an in-depth peek into casino music!
How Does Music Affect Us?
To answer this, we need to take a closer look at various discoveries and research from psychologists. One investigation saw psychologists study what happens to bank clerks when they listen to classical music while working, and the conclusion they came to was that these workers were more focused and systematic in their performance than usual. Another study observed a supermarket where relaxing music was being played. The psychologists concluded that playing calm music resulted in the customers being more relaxed and taking their time to browse. The fundamental conclusions of various investigations were that music affects the following:
Feelings—cheerful music makes us happy; cold and introspective music makes us sad.
Performance and behavior—we tend to be more focused and retain new details quicker when listening to classical music, and songs with slow beats and a relaxing ambiance affect our working tempo. Music that echoes rage, with distortion or screaming vocals, most certainly elicits anger and inclines the listener toward compulsive actions and rash behavior.
Casinos acknowledge that a suitable soundtrack is a powerful thing when it comes to creating a comfortable and enjoyable environment that people will want to spend time in. For this reason, they take advantage of this as best as they can. It’s fairly common for casinos to follow traditional thinking and choose classical music to mirror their “mature” nature, but some outlets go for bright and cheerful music to make the overall experience more enjoyable and fun.
The Most Common Music in Casinos
Each casino targets its own audience with a different strategy. Some casinos prefer low-key music; others prefer the opposite. But one goal is common for both approaches—the goal of attracting more customers. Let’s take a look at what kinds of music various top outlets play:
The most typical choice is to play well-known classical music with a fairly consistent and calm quality. Lengthy compositions and symphonies that are overly intense are avoided. The true classics from composers such as Vivaldi, Bach, and Beethoven are capable of rousing patrons just enough to keep them focused on winning and creating memorable moments in the process. The distinguished aspect of classical music also gives an air of refinement to establishments, which is a factor that some of the more high-end casinos relish.
Soft pop music
Soft pop is another common choice for casinos. It’s lightly entertaining for customers and also helps them focus due to its uncomplicated nature. These songs tend to be quieter and entirely inoffensive, meaning that patrons won’t be disturbed by it and again, can focus on what they are doing without interruption. Casinos that want to encourage a more laid-back, casual atmosphere are likely to reach for this kind of music in their selection.
Jazz—the relaxing kind, rather than the madness of fusion jazz and abstract groups like Weather Report—is also a very popular choice for casinos. Instrumentals that have a relaxing effect and help customers focus on their games are commonly chosen. This is again a choice of music that can give an establishment a classy tone, as well as invoke nostalgic feelings of the early part of the 20th century and the roaring 20s, when the exciting atmosphere of large-scale casinos erupted into cities around America. Artists like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington get plenty of airtime in modern casinos.
Electronic dance music
EDM isn’t such a common choice for casinos because of its hit-and-miss nature. However, some do choose to use it for its very energetic attitude—it can create an ideal mood for certain customers to spend more time with the games. It’s certainly a type of music that can have greater appeal to a younger crowd, and this is always a factor that casinos have to consider—who their audience is. If a casino makes more classic choices about the music, it can give the impression of being an out-of-date, dusty establishment to younger generations. So for those casinos that do go this route, they tend to do so to create an exciting, young atmosphere that resonates with their clientele.
Casinos don’t deviate too much from what’s proven to work when it comes to picking the right soundtrack, and they usually stick to safe choices. Nevertheless, rock music is still present in some casinos, and it makes perfect sense because certain strands of rock are also very energetic and uplifting. Choice of music can often come down to location and demographics—in the southern states of the USA, it’s easy to imagine how rock or even country-rock hybrid music could be an appealing choice for casino patrons.
So how do casinos choose which genre of music to play?
As we mentioned under a few of the genres above, there are multiple factors that come into play when casinos make their playlists, but the primary influences are the demographic they want to attract and the atmosphere they want to create. If they want to create a lively atmosphere for younger casino-goers, then they are likely to reach for more modern music with the relevant feeling; if they want to create a distinguished and relaxed atmosphere for older audiences (who might well be admirers of James Bond and seek a more refined tone), then perhaps they will be more likely to reach for genres that elicit that feeling instead. It always comes down to the casino’s vision and the potential customer base who live in the locality of the casino.
Music in Casinos: The Primary effects
So, now we’ve looked at the different types of music played in casinos, let’s look a little deeper into how this music actually affects gamblers and the general atmosphere of these spaces. There are three key ways in which it affects people. It creates a relaxing environment that people want to spend more time in. Casinos offer a form of escapism to those who frequent them, offering a space where gamblers can get away from the rigamarole of daily life and focus on something else for a while. The choice of music can enhance this feeling greatly and allow visitors to really relax and step back from the troubles of the world.
It creates memorable and entertaining moments
The right choice of music can really bring out the best in a moment, whether it be feelings of excitement and anticipation or something entirely more calm and relaxing. Hearing music that’s familiar can trigger dopamine and enhance your enjoyment of the moment. What’s not to like about spicing things up and feeling like you’re living in the moment?
It can make you lose perspective of time (in a positive way)
We all know that feeling when you’re really immersed in something and you totally forget about the time, right? It typically happens when you’re really enjoying being in that moment and don’t wish to be anywhere else because of that. The immersive atmosphere that the right choice of music can create can immensely add to this—music makes the passing of time, even the quiet moments, more fun. No-one wants to hear the sound of the clock ticking on the wall, do they?
Did you know?
The rabbit hole goes even deeper than you might think—did you know the music for individual slot machines is almost always in the same musical key of “C”? If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense—can you imagine stepping into a hall full of slot machines all playing music in different keys? It would be a cacophony! It’s still usually a lot to take in, but at least with everything in the same key, it’s not too discordant. So if you’re a frequent visitor of casinos, it’s very likely that hearing music in the key of “C” will make you feel right at home.
Music is an incredibly powerful tool that has the potential to bring out all kinds of feelings and emotions in us, and this is something that’s not forgotten by casinos when it comes to creating their environments and marketing campaigns. Sure, many players don’t pay conscious attention to the music in these establishments at all, but somewhere inside the subconscious mind, it does its thing to hopefully make them feel comfortable and elicit the kinds of emotions that should rightfully be paired with high-or-low stakes fun.