Why has jazz been degraded to ‘elevator music’?

8344 why has jazz been degraded to elevator music

Jazz music is a genre that has been around for over a century and has had an important influence on music worldwide. However, some people consider jazz as “elevator music.” There are several reasons why this has happened.

Firstly, jazz music has become more widely accessible to the general public, leading to its commercialization. The genre has been used in many different types of media, including advertisements, movies, and television shows, which has led to it being played in various public spaces like elevators, shopping malls, and restaurants.

Secondly, jazz music has been simplified in some contexts to make it more palatable to a larger audience. This has resulted in the creation of what some people might refer to as “easy listening” jazz, which may lack the complexity and innovation of traditional jazz music.

Thirdly, the perception of jazz music as “elevator music” may also be influenced by the way it is played. Jazz musicians may be hired to play background music at events, such as weddings, where the music is intended to provide ambiance rather than be the main focus. In these settings, jazz music may be played quietly, and the musicians may not engage in improvisation or other more complex aspects of the genre.

Despite this perception, jazz music remains an important genre that has influenced many other types of music, including rock, hip hop, and electronic music. Jazz continues to evolve and remains relevant to this day.


  • “Why has jazz been degraded to ‘elevator music’?” by Victoria Greene, Jazzwise Magazine, January 15, 2019.