A Musical Confession

Madama ButterflyMost people I talk to tell me that they like all styles of music. Sometimes they will admit to a particular style they dislike, especially Country or Heavy Metal. Such statements have always amused me, because I know these people are fooling themselves—not that I shatter their illusions. My experience with people’s actions rather than their words is that they listen almost exclusively to one kind of music and they put up with a lot of other things.

The music you like is the stuff you put on when you are at home when no one else is around to please or impress. If you really will put on Madama Butterfly today, Judas Priest tomorrow, Russian Balalaika quartets the next, and traditional Biwa accompanied Japanese folk tales the last, then you really do like all styles of music. But if you don’t, then you don’t.

I have always thought—opposed to the pretenders around me—that I really did like all styles of music. That, however, is just as much a delusion as that of others who are desperately hooked on a single style of music. In general, I do have eclectic taste. I will listen to Gregorian Chants, followed by Black Flag, followed by Merle Haggard, followed by John Coltrane. I even like good Hip Hop, but given the overwhelming quantity of dreck, I am most likely to settle for very old stuff like Gil Scott-Heron, rather than bother to learn the modern artists, 95% of whom are simply not interesting. But that’s the thing: I like all styles of western music. I have little patience for most non-western music. If it uses the western twelve tone octave, I’m fine. Anything else, I don’t get. I can tell it is music; I can appreciate the rhythms; but the melodies and harmonies are maddening.

So no, I don’t like all styles of music. And I’m fine with that.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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