Someone will say that he or she listens to music that fits their mood the best. Some might suggest more complicated versions of what the roots of musical tastes might be: certain psychological characteristics of a person, memories evoked by music, relation of the words to the person’s life, associating a beloved one with a particular type of music, a way of self expression, means of establishing oneself as opposing to the crowd or as a part of it.
The number of reasons for a person’s choice of music is endless. They are all significant. But I would like to present you one more idea about the connection of music and a person. In my opinion this connection lies deeper than just fashion or emotions. In fact, this connection is something fashion and emotions depend on.
Let’s go back to the time when we were kids. Most of us listened to the same music as our parents. But is that enough to influence us into adulthood?
This is my theory. The environment we live in affects the music we want to listen to. Music and our emotions are closely connected, and in turn, the environment we live in strongly influences our emotions.
Though everyone is different, people who live in the city tend to experience a certain standard set of positive and negative emotions like dancing in a club and techno-stress.
This makes them accustomed to constant lack of movement in the atmosphere of everything moving around them as a cause of a stress. They are the children of noise. So the music they will be listening to will most likely reflect their environment – it is club music. Those who feel depressed by the city will be trying to get even more noise – they will listen to heavy metal. For both groups, dancing offers a release from the constant commotion around them.
People from rural areas listen to country because the countryside is peaceful and quiet. Country people are opposite to the city people. They are the children of wind and peace. The music they listen to reflects the calmness of the environment, their ideas, and their life.
Musicians are the reverse side of my theory. How do musicians know where and what music they should create? They don’t plan what type of music they should write or sing. They live in the certain environment and they use music to express what they feel. Thus, they express their feelings in the shape of music.
It is a known fact that an artist will draw only the things he saw at least once in his life. Even if the drawing seems mysterious, it will consist of small elements that we can see in our world, only the combination will be unusual.
The same applies to music – the person can express only the emotions he knows, or the combination of familiar emotions.
I assume that the reality affects the music the singer performs or the composer produces. Therefore, if the person has never lived in the city, he won’t know any of the emotions that are connected with living in the city, and vice versa.
The basics for their music will still be those emotions they felt for the most part of their life. They still might sing about the life in the city, but with the perspective and emotions of a country dweller.
A person from a city can also sing about the countryside, but the countryside will be not a common environment for him.
The nature of their music will be poetic for the composer, but he will be reflecting his emotions as a stranger to this environment, rather than as a part of it.
You don’t have to be born in a certain environment to be attracted to a certain type of music.
I experienced that myself. I am from a large industrial city, and we listen mostly to alternative rock or to club music.
I was opposed to the club music in favor of alternative rock or heavier when I lived in the city, but regardless of my preference, both club music and rock are noise.
When I came to Chadron, for some unknown reason rock music seemed too heavy for me, and club music much too noisy.
I started to listen to country music. I just feel like listening to country music for no logical reason.
During the summer I went back home, but I kept on listening to country music, but it lasted only for a week or so.
Country music seemed to be way too much of a fairy tale for the harsh reality of the city life, while both club music and rock music seemed to fit in with my emotional mood.
This is was where my theory about the deep connection of music and reality was born. Then my thought went on comparing and realizing new connections.
How is your taste in music influenced by your emotional landscape?