Andrew Waggoner wrote an interesting article about the need for silence in our culture saturated with noise and muzak. He writes:
In many world societies, however, there are still spaces—if only interior, or metaphorical, or temporal—set aside for contemplation, for noiseless recalibration of the soul, and in contemporary American culture there are almost none. Our social rituals are constrained by the incessant soundtrack imposed in our public spaces, and our places of worship, by and large, have given themselves over to a muzak-based sense of liturgy that tells us at every step of the way what to feel and with what intensity.
Music gets its import from both the ordering of sound and silence in time. Where there is no silence, music begins to lose its distinction. And we as listeners are numbed by the aural wallpaper.