Thursday, December 12, 2019

Why do people have such different tastes in music?

The other day I was in a store and happened to hear a song I really dislike. To spare the artist, I won't say which one, but the song is very monotonous, the singing is unpleasant, and the whole thing just lacks creativity. It got me thinking, why would a song like this be selected for rotation in a national grocery store chain?

Could it be that there are actually people that like the song? I decided to go home and look it up on Youtube where I knew there would be comments about it. There were a fair amount of down votes, but to my surprise, the majority of votes and comments were positive. In fact may people were saying how they love the song and love the singer's voice.

I was a little dumbfounded. How could it be that there is a song I think is awful, yet there are other people who really like it? I did a little more research and found more discussion on song choices and songs that people don't like. Interestingly enough I found there was a song many people seemed to dislike that I actually didn't mind and would consider a decent song.

So how can people have such different tastes in music? What makes a song appealing to one person, but appalling to another?

One idea is that a song reminds you of a good time in your life or a certain event. Many people will hear a song they listened to when they were young and it reminds them of that time. It might not have been such a great song, but it is part of their history, so they will always have a fond memory of it.

Maybe the song was played at an important even such as a wedding or a dance so when a person hears it, they are instantly reminded of that event and it may bring back good memories.

Lyrical content could also play a part in why some people like certain songs more than others. If you can relate to the lyrics or if they have some important meaning to you, you might like the song even if the music is not that great.

One of my theories is that some people just have less experience listening to music than others. Someone who does not listen to a lot of music might think a song is good, but it is just because they do not have much to compare it to and don't realize there is much better music out there to listen to.

On the other hand, someone who is very familiar with music may dislike a song because they think it is very generic, unoriginal, or just not up to par with the music they normally listen to.

It could also have something to do with how we were brought up and what music we were exposed to. Many kids start getting into music in their early teen years and for them, that will be their golden age of music because those are the songs they grew up with. Also if you grew up in a place where a certain genre of music was popular, there is a good chance you will be a fan of that kind of music as well.

While it might seem like everyone would be on the same page when it comes to deciding which songs we like and dislike, all these factors above show how we can be influenced in many ways and how these influences determine what we like and dislike.

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