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Most people hate most music

January 4, 2011

Most people hate most music. Fact.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this – we all have different tastes and there are hundreds of musical genres and millions of artists making music. We can’t like all of it. There is enough music being made, though, for everyone to find something they like. In fact, despite the bleating of the big four dinosaur record labels, there is more music being made, sold and profited from than ever before in history. One of life’s great pleasures is discovering some previously unimagined music and falling in love with it.

Which leads me to the point of this post: why do people always seem to refer to music they don’t like as being rubbish? If you play something they don’t like they’ll say ‘turn that off- it’s shit’.

I’ve heard this in many contexts – years back when I played in the traditional folk scene, people would slag off electronic music. Now, when I make dubstep, breaks and electronica, people will slag off pop music.

I think this is a stupid and thoughtless reaction to music that is outside one’s own area of interest.

Musicians in particular are often the first to express contempt for mainstream pop music, when actually some of the most amazing, world class musicianship and production values are found in pop tunes. The likes of Madonna and Britney Spears, Pixie Lott, Katie Melua and Rihanna release tunes that sound incredible, with exceptional musicians playing to the highest standards.

I believe that we often forget that different styles of music have very different purposes and we judge a genre unfairly when we hear it or imagine it in the wrong context. Some music is for sitting and listening to eg classical music. It simply wouldn’t work in a nightclub. Psy trance is (to me) very dull to listen to at home but awesome when experienced through an ground shaking PA system in a club or on a beach when surrounded by up-for-it ravers. Context and purpose is everything.

So, pure pop music has its place – in my opinion, mostly on the radio or TV. Also, the age and social group of the listener is important; I don’t ‘get’ grime because I’m not really from the culture that spawned it but I love dubstep which seems to me to transcend the cultures it developed from. Sometimes, experiencing a culture allows you to ‘get’ a particular type of music. When I first heard Moroccan music, I didn’t ‘get’ it. Once I’d (accidentally) attended the annual Gnawa Festival in Essaouira, Morocco, some years back, it suddenly all made sense and I love it now.

So, don’t be a musical snob. If you don’t like some music, that’s fine – but don’t call it rude names. Be open to new cultures, home grown or foreign, and you’ll find yourself enjoying musical genres you didn’t even know existed. There’s a world of amazing music out there.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Louis permalink
    January 4, 2011 12:28 pm

    I completely agree. I remember hearing Drum and Bass in a club for the first time and suddenly getting what it was about. There is still rubbish music out there but it’s generally rubbish examples of a genre rather than a whole genre that is rubbish.

  2. January 4, 2011 12:57 pm

    Our friend TonySoapCo (!/profile.php?id=567149342 ) commented elsewhere on this blog post. Here’s what he said:

    An honorary mention there should go too to checking ‘new’ music over ‘old’ too, I find a particular resistance to showing out anything ‘unknown’ as opposed to ‘known’ if I play out or have friends over and I nearly always get beaten in…to submission just to keep the peace.
    The curious in me will always maybe think I’m going to hear something that blows my socks off as opposed to hear something that HAS blown my socks off already.
    Personally, I’d rather see a 17 year old blasting out white noise on a laptop in the backroom of a pub than sit in row XX at the O2 or hear a demo by some bedroom act from Tokyo rather than hear Pink Floyd one.more.time, much as I love them.
    It’s a large obstacle to musical evolution and arguably perpetuates blandness, risk free creation and allows commercialism to creep in at worst I always think.
    At best, people are simply robbing themselves of some great experiences for the sake of safety and familiarity, let’s face it, it’s not exactly going to kill anyone is it?!…Hail the new sounds!See more

  3. January 4, 2011 2:17 pm

    A great post!

    I have “recently” discovered so much music and so many genres of music that I missed the first time around due to me having been (what I like to call) a pretentious twat who only thought the music that I liked was worthy of a listen. I am happy to say that I am now open to listening to anything that any artist deems worthy of putting out there, if I don’t like it, that’s fine, it’s my preference, but I will always give it a listen.

    So while I am now re-discovering the glory that was, for example, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and enjoying the production values and talent behind such songs as Careless Whisper by George Michael I am also discovering amazing new talents and global genres. This is truly an exciting time as the internet makes it so easy for artistes that we would possibly never have heard of to publish and retail their music over the internet.

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