What to do with mu­sic while you wait, and wait…

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Os­car Quine

IT IS a frus­tra­tion of mod­ern life. Ev­ery time you try to call a gov­ern­ment agency or cor­po­ra­tion, it can feel like hours be­fore you fi­nally get through to a hu­man.

So when mu­si­cian Alan Dr­ever-smith, 26, found him­self on hold dur­ing a 40-minute call to HMRC, he de­cided to put his skills to good use and be­gan to tran­scribe the ser­vice’s jin­gle.

He said: “As a mu­si­cian, I was gig­gling be­cause it was such rub­bish – the tune is jar­ring and it’s just hor­ri­ble to lis­ten to. I had my lap­top in front of me, so I just had a spark of mis­chief af­ter hear­ing that same tune re­peated 20 times. It was bore­dom ther­apy.”

The clas­si­cally trained drum­mer from Hull posted the re­sults of his work on Face­book. The tran­scribed mu­sic – com­plete with the mu­si­cal in­struc­tion to any prospec­tive play­ers to re­peat “D.C. ad Nau­seum” – has been shared more than 800 times.

“It’s quite mun­dane, but it’s jazzy – which is kind of hi­lar­i­ous be­cause it’s so out of place,” he said of the piece. “It’s like they just slammed two com­pletely dif­fer­ent songs to­gether.”

Con­trary to the view that hold mu­sic only pro­vides con­sumers with a par­tic­u­lar kind of hell, re­search has found that it does serve a pur­pose.

One sur­vey found that 73 per cent of call­ers to con­sumer lines pre­ferred hold mu­sic to beeps or si­lence. An­other con­cluded that those hear­ing hold mu­sic will wait an ex­tra 30 sec­onds be­fore giv­ing up on a call.

Mr Dr­ever-smith says HMRC’S is not the worst piece of hold mu­sic to which he has been sub­jected.

“I’ve heard Vi­valdi’s Spring used quite of­ten and that’s a lovely tune, but it’s hor­rific when it’s con­verted for hold mu­sic where it’s de­stroyed com­pletely.

“I’d cer­tainly vol­un­teer to make a new ver­sion. It does make you won­der – as a a mu­si­cian you want your mu­sic to be heard, and hold mu­sic has def­i­nitely been heard by mil­lions.”

Af­ter hear­ing the same tune re­peated 20 times, Alan Dr­ever-smith, be­low, de­cided to tran­scribe the HMRC’S jin­gle score, above

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