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Berlin: BVG Introduces Classical Music and Hip Sounds at ‘U-Bahn’ Train Stations

Berliners who just need their ration of Chopin, Debussy or Schubert every day now have one more reason to hop on ‘U-Bahn’ trains. In an effort to improve the waiting experience for its passengers at its stations, classical music and cool ‘Lounge’ sounds are supposed to be played there.

Berlin, March 22nd, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Berlin is a cultural city, and a hip one. From now on, this will apply even more, thanks to the city’s main public transport provider BVG. The state-owned company is sparing no expense when it comes to making passengers feel good. At ‘U-Bahn’ train stations, lighter floors, more light and better cleaning jobs are supposed to improve the experience for those who wait for their trains. More security officers are on duty as well. Now, music will be added.

‘Unobtrusive Music’

One hundred and twenty years after the first ‘U-Bahnen’ (plural for ‘U-Bahn’, which is Germany’s metro, tube, subway or underground) moved back and forth in Berlin, the company that operates them is implementing yet another brainwave its management came up with. “Music is life itself”, right? Right. That is why the BVG is now experimenting with it. At four stations, passengers will hear “unobtrusive music”, if they remove their headphones. Soon, passengers will be polled about the experiment. Depending on the results, the idea might be implemented at more and more stations.

So, the BVG teamed up with Klassik Radio, a network with several channels that are on air in the three German-speaking countries. The four ‘U-Bahn’ stations that were picked for the field test are ‘Unter den Linden’, ‘Strausberger Platz’, ‘Südstern’ and ‘Moritzplatz’. At these locations, “ambience” is now being spread, according to the BVG. They were chosen because of structural differences that will affect the sound technically. They want to find out how to adjust it at what kinds of stations.

Hip and Cool

So, will they play the same music at all stations? Of course not. The BVG would not be the BVG if it had not decided to go for a variety of genres. Genius is at work here. One thing is certain: ‘Under den Linden’ is the most elegant station in the entire ‘U-Bahn’ network. That is why ‘Piano Classics’ is the Klassik Radio channel that will spread its sounds here. If Chopin is the kind of sound you are craving for, go there.

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Between Berlin’s districts Mitte and Friedrichshain, a different approach was chosen. Because everybody is so hip in this area, including those individuals with pink or green hair, a gazillion tattoos and nose rings, ‘Lounge’ sounds will be heard here. Yes, Berlin is the coolest place on Earth. This fact is now reflected here, and it applies to ‘Südstern’ station even more. ‘Klassik Radio Lounge Beat’ is the channel that will play here.

Bach in E Major

For the fourth station, ‘Moritzplatz’, they thought of something special: ‘Feel Good Klassik’ is the channel for this one. At 10:03 a.m. this morning, passengers here heard Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto II for Piano and Orchestra in E Major. Wow! They are definitely showing some excellent taste here.

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