Judge My Taste In Music

Some context: I like (but am not a hardcore fan of) rock and metal music such as Metallica, Halestorm and Evanescence, while not particularly fond of music from Justin Bieber, One Direction and the like.  Based on my immature logic back then, I would vehemently tell people that “Justin Bieber is an atrocity to music.”  I really want to give myself fifty slaps across the face.  Maybe more.

This is because I was forced to not realise, but acknowledge, that there are songs I enjoy, even if they are not purely rock or metal.  Songs from Disney movies, classical, video games, a cappella…anything.

I think the bigger question is whether or not one’s taste in music reflect ones character.  Perhaps it doesn’t apply to everyone, but it’s something we might not realise.  What we do realise, though is how we tend to react to other people’s tastes in music.

I don’t know if it’s a thing in society — or at least, in adolescence — to judge people based on their taste in music, but…it’s definitely happening.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with judging people — we tend to do that, for it’s a part of human nature.  But when we start to go all Simon-Cowell-American-Idol and whatnot, i.e. determining a person’s character based on his or her taste in music, then I have a problem.

Recently — and I mean yesterday — I’ve started listening to Thirty Seconds to Mars.  Reason?  Because I find Jared Leto strangely attractive.  Although I still haven’t watched Dallas Buyers Club yet, he’s pretty much the only reason I’ve started listening to the band’s music.  And to be honest, I like some of its songs.  I can’t stop raping my rewind button for City of Angels or Kings and Queens.  But when I told my classmate (we’ll call him MH for metalhead), he scoffed.  “God I hate them: their lyrics are so pop.  Why do you even like them?  It’s like, music for idiots.”

Not that his grammar completely bothered me (it did), but I cringed when he referred to a singular band as “their” or “them.”  What really did get under my skin, though, was his claim that it’s “music for idiots.”  It didn’t feel like a personal attack, but it made him appear obnoxious.  Sure, he has his tastes in music that are probably vastly different from mine (which really isn’t; he’s just more hardcore).  At the end of the day, however, who is he to say that it’s music for idiots, much like how I used to say that Justin Bieber was an atrocity to music?

To answer my question by asking another question: what does it mean to have a taste in music?  Is it simply a label or a way to relate ourselves to others?  Is it really something for us to judge?  Or is it a way to find ourselves and give ourselves an identity, even if the music doesn’t really reflect who we are?

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6 thoughts on “Judge My Taste In Music

  1. Scientifically, your taste in music has to do with the vibrations and frequencies matching your own brain.

    I remember asking a professor what kind of music he liked. His response?

    “That’s an extremely personal question.”

    I didn’t pursue the conversation any further.

    1. Wow, I never knew about that scientific part. But then again, it would be interesting to know how the vibrations and frequencies in my brain are “programmed” to fit different types of music, so to speak (maybe that isn’t the best to phrase things)

      And I salute your professor with that response :)

  2. I’d hazard a guess that MH was referring to the members of the band, hence the plural pronouns (although singular ‘them’ is started to be accepted as a gender-neutral third person pronoun).
    Music can tell us a little bit about our values and who we are (hardcore music would appeal more to people who desire to feel things intensely, most likely) although there are most likely exceptions to that, and human personalities are so much more complex than our choices in music could ever hope to convey.
    By the way, it might be a little better if you didn’t use the word ‘rape’ so casually. It can be offensive to survivors/victims of rape. (referring to “I can’t stop raping my rewind button for City of Angels or Kings and Queens.”)

  3. I don’t think a person’s taste in music reflects on their character, but I must admit it is hard to not find similarities (favorable or otherwise) between those interested in similar music. There is definitely something off about people who are die-hard fans of Insane Clown Posse. Yes, this is a generalization, but if what makes us us is our memories and experiences, then would it not follow that music, being an experience, would also be a part of us and our personality? I think it might go too far too assume that ones character is flawed based on a something as subjective as their taste in music, but their personalities, I think, are definitely influenced. I think we are all influenced by everything we are exposed to – albeit varying degrees, but influenced nonetheless. Finally, as far as an identity is concerned, I would definitely submit to that. I was a huge fan of The Dresden Dolls growing up and found that their music not only altered my state of mind (again, for better or worse), but gave me courage, self-worth, a sense of identity, etc. Take Lady Gaga and her “Born This Way.” That song alone had a profound influence on people and their sense of worth and identity within the GLBTQ community. I think that music is a very powerful medium which is not unique to humans either. It has been around for a very long time and I think excited a part of us that cannot be touched otherwise. Great topic, by the way.

    1. A few hours writing this post, I came to the conclusion that our taste in music does not entirely reflect our personality; instead, it reflects the personality of other people in terms of how they judge us. Then again, it’s a debatable topic so who knows :)

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