Music, like religion, is a personal thing

A lot of people lose sight of the personal element to religion. There are quite a few folks wandering this planet thinking that we need uniformity, that things will be better if whole countries, or even the entire globe is Christian or Muslim or whatever. I beg to differ. Religion is a personal thing, sometimes a family thing, sometimes a cultural thing, but absolute uniformity is not an ideal end point. That's what our founding fathers believed and that's why there's a separation of church and state.

And... that's why it's OK to have your own personal taste in music. The world would not be a better place if everyone listened to and played exactly the same music. That's the beauty of creative endeavors, there's variety in what's created and there's variety in how it's consumed. Yeah, major corporations love to funnel us all towards uniform targets but we don't consistently follow that leadership. Many of my friends who love "metal" listen to entirely different subsets of the genre than I do. I lean toward power metal, goth metal, nu metal some metalcore and I have soft spot for hair metal. Some of my cohorts swear by death metal, black metal and grindcore. That's OK...really. We can be different and it can all be "metal". We don't need to argue about what is "real metal" and what is not. It's all metal. It can be commercial; it can be isolationist. It doesn't matter, it's all metal and it's all good, even if I don't like all of it.

Y'see, musical taste is personal. It's subjective and it varies. I don't need to demonize other genres or sub-genres to like the music I like. There are amazing players in country, blues, jazz, classical, pop, you name it. I can like some performers or composers outside of metal without in any way being disloyal to metal. You can dislike everything except thrash metal and that's OK too. That doesn't make the stuff you dislike bad. This isn't sports fandom.

Musical taste is a lot like taste in food. Just imagine a world where every single restaurant serves bratwurst and nothing else the next time you wish that record labels would start selling nothing but swamp metal. How many days could you go eating bratwurst before you at least started craving kielbasa? And then imagine how long you could go on those two sausage types before you could not eat another bite and had to open your own pizza joint.

So, tell me, what's unique about your taste in music? What sets you apart, even from your close friends?

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Reader Comments (1)

I concur. One thing that has always set my musical tastes apart is eclecticism - variety is an essential component of my musical diet. Since I was young, I have always had wide-ranging tastes. My record collection includes a fair bit of Heavy, but it also rocks plenty of pop, ska, soul, blues, funk, indie punk, reggae, Americana-country and…lots of rock & roll. Over time, I've come to believe that there are really only two kind of music: good and…not good ;-)

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercv

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