musical taste

Tonight, I remarked to a friend that I don’t listen to music much anymore. On reflection, however, that’s not quite true. While I do enjoy my Hitchhiker’s Guide radio scripts or NPR more than anything on FM radio at any given time, there are admittedly some pieces of genuine music that I have a soft spot for and which if I do happen to hear, I’ll go out of my way to listen to and sing along to (as long as no one else is in the car 🙂 And I don’t just mean movie soundtracks, either (though they rank highly).

The thing about most of these is that they either evoke a emotion in me or I find some kind of resonance in their lyrics. I rarely enjoy a song for its aesthetic value alone. To click, there has to be a reason, and its something I just cant predict or even point to a pattern for. I’m fairly happy with a very tightly focused collection of music, which I might not listen to that often but which when I do, I expect the same few dozen songs in rotation. I suppose this is the opposite of the typical iPod user profile, but I know what I like and I just don’t have any interest in carrying around anything extraneous.

Maybe I’m just stubborn.

3 thoughts on “musical taste”

  1. I’m the same way, although it’s hard to discover new songs that evoke an emotion if you don’t listen to new stuff at least some of the time. 🙂 Since moving to Boston, my musical tastes have become more folksy. Slaid Cleaves. Lucy Kaplansky. Alysson Krauss and Union Station. I’ve grown to like all of them.

  2. I find that good soundtracks work well for me. Each piece tells a small completmentary part of the original story, and a soundtrack allows me to go back and experience the emotions of any given scene while driving, at work, or fragging away on my computer.

    When it comes to many classical tunes, often they’re telling a story as well, but you have to run down the context in which the song was written and hunt for any notes the composer may have left on the song to really get the full impact.

    Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is a very powerful song, but what makes the 4th movement (and whole symphony for that matter) stand out to me is that it took him eleven years fighting through a near total loss of hearing to complete. How do you compose such a beautiful song dedicated to joy when the one thing you must truly cherish has been taken from you?

    I generally avoid songs with lyrics. Unless you’re dealing with a band that’s good at ballads, very few modern bands sing songs with more than a couple dozen words repeated over and over again for 2-4 minutes. And besides, they’re all just regurgitating the same drumbeat anyway 😉 (there are a few colorful lyric in a historical context).

  3. I didn’t even know what the Amen Break was, but as soon as the video started talking about it, I knew the break it was talking about. I hate that thing.

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