Why do certain people favor certain genres of music?I am doing an Informative Essay on music. Thank you!

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Music arises out of the soul, just as poetry does.  When there is a connection between the melody, the instrumentation, and the lyrics, people connect.  For instance, much music arises from the conditions of the people in certain cultures.  The Irish jig and its lively music sprung form the fact that at times the Irish had to hide their dancing.  They would dance upstairs in pubs on old doors so that the British shoulders could not see through the slats of the ceiling.  This is why the dancers keep their arms as their sides and move the feet into the air and bend their legs, etc. wihout really going anywhere.  To match the movements, the music is a lilting repetitive melody.

Bluegrass music has emerged from the Irish music since many of the people in the Appalachians were of direct Irish descent.  In fact, many of the bluegrass melodies are the same as those of Irish songs; only the lyrics differ.

The Blues were created in Mississippi by the blacks by hammering a nail into a post and plucking a wire of guitar string..  Out of the misery of their hearts, the songs were created.  And, the name "blues" means the "devil's blues" or the dark depression of the soul that arises from misery.  That people of all races like this music bespeaks to the condition of their hearts and souls.  For, the music stirs in the listener a solace for the soul with its understanding and expression of how the listener also feels.

Here's a little anecdote as an illustration of how music emanates from the heart:  Friends rode the two hour trip to Atlanta one day with a young man of 28, who had grown up listening to rock and roll and who liked Aerosmith and Kiss and others of his teen years.  When their driver put an album of Johnny Cash into his CD player in the car and the song "Sunday Morning Coming Down" came on, the friends were taken aback.

"What is THAT?" they exclaimed.  "Since when do you like Country Western music, or listen to Johnny Cash?"

The driver looked at his friends, who knew that his longtime girlfriend had recently left him.  "I don't blame you for asking me this, but you know," he replied, "I never liked it before now.  Somehow, now I understand what 'Sunday Morning Coming Down' means." 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think there's any rhyme or reason to it.  It's probably partly what you get exposed to when you're young.  And it's probably also partly what you tell yourself you should like -- what sort of music fits in with your image of yourself.

As examples of that last point:

  • When I was young and idealistic and thought the system sucked, I loved Bob Marley and other, even more political reggae artists like Mutabaruka or Linton Kwesi Johnson.
  • Later on, when my image of myself was that I accepted all sorts of different kinds of people, I came to like both country and "norteno" (music from Northern Mexico and some of Texas) because I live and teach among country people and Hispanics from that part of Mexico.

So I think there's some degree of us talking ourselves into liking stuff because it fits who we think we are.  But it all comes down to individuals and there's no way to tell from the outside what someone will like.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like so many things we have "tastes" for, music is completely subjective.  Ones tastes are acquired through exposure.  One time in life when I think musical taste are formed is early/young adulthood when young people start to tune into the "current" music on radio, television, and movies.  They hear a "good" song in the context of an experience, and the taste for that kind of music evolves from there.  It is during these years that many students start formal music education and thus are exposed to classical music, which may increase the appeal of this kind of music.  Obviously, the music played in the home will have an influence -- maybe in favor and maybe in angsty opposition! There can't be only one answer to the question.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Music is a funny thing, as it has the power to evoke memory like few other things can. When I hear a "Seventies Flashback Weekend" on some radio channel, I am immediately taken back to high school and college. While I don't listen to that music all the time, it has an evocative power which creates the "favoring" you're studying. Music is shaped by personal choice, outside influences, emotional connection, and probably a thousand other things. Interesting topic!

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

People are attracted to the type of music that "speaks to their souls." The rhythm, beat, lyrics, sound of the singer's voice etc are some factors that attract people to certain types of music. Most people like a variety of music. Though I grew up in the 1980's, I live for music made in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. The music from those decades give me a sense of euphoria.

crystaltu001 | Student

Different people have different taste in music. Maybe there could be a type of music that you like but some one doesn't like that music and they like something else. It depends on the person and what the person likes and sometimes the type of music someone likes depends on what kind of person they are.

arrellbelle | Student

It is not the idea that certain people like certain types or genres of music. I just believe that it is up to their certain taste or preference of music. When I was younger, I loved listening to hard rock, metal, or any type of rock music because my childhood was rough and rock/metal seemed to just match that certain time frame. As I got older, I started to broaden my horizons and this led to exploring different types of music because of the different types of people I met. In conclusion, I learned to love ballads, reggae, hip-hop, RnB, k-pop.

insomniaticdreamer | Student

I think it has a lot to do with the genre of music your grow up listening to, because its like a part of the culture your growing up in. For example, I grew up not in the country, per say, but with a country family. Which means, I obviously grew up listening to a lot of country music. These days I'm not a huge fan of most country music, but I still do have a fondness for it and do enjoy certain songs because they remind me of my childhood.