Developing musical taste
January 14, 2010 10:18 AM Subscribe
How do you develop musical taste? What does it mean to "like" a song?
A few years ago, I only listened to the music that my friend told me was "good" (ex: the yeah yeah yeahs) She also told me that most radio music was "bad" (ex: linkin park and gwen stefani). Well, I didn't know what made a song good or bad but the stuff she gave me was pretty all right, mostly popular indie stuff like the Decemberists and Belle & Sebastian and I didn't mind listening to it. I know her rejection of anything mainstream was just snobby behavior but we were in high school and I also didn't have a mind of my own to care much about music. Just yesterday, however, I decided I wanted to find music that _I_ really liked. So I deleted all my music off of my harddrive.
But how do I find music I like (especially more recent music)? Whatever sounds good? But what does that even mean? I can turn on the radio and listen to Black Eyed Peas 'I Gotta Feeling' and tell you it's catchy and I don't mind it. I don't know if I like it though because I don't understand what it means to like a song. That you don't mind listening to it on repeat? Aside from heavy rap and death metal, I feel that way about all songs. But, to make up for my sheep-like tendencies towards music, I'd like to develop an ear and certain reasons for really liking certain music that aren't based on other people's opinions and reliant on just how it's designed to make me "feel." (An upbeat dance song will probably make me feel upbeat, there's no struggle there).
I want to know why David Bowie's music is better than Lady Gaga's. Or why Miley Cyrus' music is not so good. I want to learn to discern the differences in music quality. I don't have the time right now to learn a musical instrument but I want to try and make music a larger part of my life. I just want to know how you learned to appreciate music and how you think I can learn to develop a taste for music instead of treating all music the same. I'd really appreciate (and I think this will help me get a better feel) if you could also point me in the direction of a two different songs/albums and do a little compare/contrast of the two, highlighting the differences between them and what makes one of them, in your opinion, more suitable to your tastes. Thanks!