2006_12_musicmta.jpgThe NY Sun had a fun article about the different kids of music played at various transit hubs in the area. For instance, the Port Authority plays Handel and Bach and the area airports play "light classical." At Penn Station, there's "string quartets and flute piccolos" at Amtrak but top 40 music at the LIRR area. Why?

sic, composed to serve as background music, best soothes the preoccupied, traveling mind.

"There's an organization and structure behind 18th-century baroque music that people find relaxing," the music director of WNYC, George Preston, said. "It doesn't have the sort of emotional baggage that a Tchaikovsky symphony might have."

And who needs emotional baggage when you're likely hauling actual baggage?

Some people who were asked about the music had some insightful observations, like Yosef Golubchik, who said, "The classical music makes Pennsylvania Station feel like a nicer, safer place than it might actually be," but some studies have actually found that classical music lowers crime.

Two places where music won't be included on a PA system: Grand Central Terminal and subway stations. We understand why Grand Central doesn't need music (they say it's because "The natural din is really like the heartbeat of the city" but the architecture is so dazzling that people are naturally taken by it) but the MTA's spokesman Paul Fleuranges's explanation for no music is, well, classic: "I don't know that New Yorkers would go for it, or that we'd invest in the infrastructure needed to do that." True - and it would be better for the MTA to improve the basic PA system, anyway.

Do you like music in stations? Or are you already so plugged into your iPod that you don't care either way?