We have different tastes in everything; I like potatoes, you like rubbing your butt on pine trees, I shave my legs, you think growing a 70’s vagina on your face looks cool. Yet one difference that sometimes causes the bombs and machetes to come out is music. It’s quite common, when sharing music you love with others to act as if you made it yourself. And even though it should be a matter of taste, if someone you care for doesn’t reciprocate in kind to your melodic preferences, then it becomes personal.
Music is an artistic expression and as we all know, art is a fancy name for letting you get away with deviant behavior like painting a wall with your period under the guise of feminist defiance of modern shackles, or some shit like that. But of course, upon reflection, it goes much deeper, because if you think about it, music speaks to a very primal part of us. It doesn’t pertain to logic; you can’t argue me into liking a song.
We have base reactions to melodies and it is because our preferences are so primal and innate that we treat them as personal. For instance, I love Psy trance and while most of my friends prefer the slower booms of techno, I find it incredulous when I share a cerebral molesting track and they simply don’t see or appreciate the beauty of it. It is one thing when they say “I’m not really into psy”, but when they make personal remarks against my favorite producer/Dj, I feel like stabbing their eyes with a salad fork, but my doctor said that’s a no-no so I just innocently fantasize about it.
Scientists have been trying to find our link with music for a while now and while some studies are starting to delve into the mechanics, we are barely skimming the surface of what moves us. Some sources claim that we develop our taste in music from the ages of 10 to 20, and that these form the basis of what we will listen to for the rest of our lives. From a personal viewpoint though, I have experienced a very wide development in the genres and styles I enjoy that I find this explanation somewhat limiting.
Another study that recently flooded articles was a research done to show that your taste in music was linked to whether you were a systemic thinker or emphasizer. I completely disagree with this as I hated the songs on the emphasizer list and I loved the songs on the other list and I’m known to have a high level of empathy, especially for the morons that surround me. All jokes aside though, the people that did these studies seem completely oblivious to two important facts: first they are forgetting to factor in the substance of choice that normally accompanies the genre, and secondly they are ignoring the potential for change in humans.
Take me to a jazz bar where the crowds are liquored up, and I assure you a fight or two will break out eventually (Jazz was on the emphasizer list). However, venture to a psy festival where thousands of people are on psychedelics and stomping on the earth while connecting through sweat and smiles, and no fights of ego are recorded. I’m not saying you need to be on alcohol or psychedelics to enjoy the music, but to me they certainly play a role in what crowd they pull.
The fact of the matter is that we are still novices in understanding what draws us to music but the beauty of it is that our tastes are as palpable as Middle Eastern politics. And you don’t have to like my taste in music, but say anything against it and prepare to part with an organ.