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