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"But you don't really care for music, do ya?"

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  • "But you don't really care for music, do ya?"

    I'm sure many of you recognize that lyric snippet, but truth be told, virtually EVERYone likes some kind of music. We had a very interesting discussion in my AP Psych class today over whether one's musical tastes are more Nature or Nature. Since so much of character, personality, temperament and even sense of humor is far more related to our genes than most people imagine, I took the side of Nature.

    My mom listened to Folk Songs (think Kingston Trio) and my dad was big into Swing. Jazz. Big Band (Ella, Sarah Vaughn, Count B and Duke E, etc.), which I admit was representative of the Nurture they received as young people. I, however, never liked any of that, despite hearing it every day at home. I also was not particularly enamored with the early Rock'n'Roll (Elvis), esp. not Doo Wop, but . . . when those Brits invaded in 1964, my socks were knocked off.

    I attribute that to the fact that I inherently have a 'wild', anti-authoritarian side (despite going into the military (!!) ), that 'appreciates' the no-rules approach that much of the 'classic rock' of the 60s had. Yes, I was nurtured by my peers (aka AM Radio), but I hated all the pure pop songs of the era, so I do believe that the Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks, Hollies, Led Z, then Billy Idol and Van Halen, spoke to ME!

    OK, cutting to the chase - what do Joe Cocker, Kim Carnes, Rod Stewart (to a large degree) and Brian Johnson (of AC/DC) have in common? No pipes!! Their voices are, to be kind, raspy - at best. But . . . boy, can they sing! What's up with that?! What is it about music that it can be so raw and yet so appealing?

    I hereby present Exhibit A of what raw musicality sounds like. This street musician (it's an old clip - some of you have seen it) who embodies what music really is - a rhythm in sync with our internal operations (EEG? Heart rate? Breathing?). He's hard to look at and even understand, but my students were blown away by him, and concluded he appeals to something in our Nature, not our Nurture.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JghgJToVP00
    Last edited by Atticus; 10-06-2016, 12:11 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Atticus View Post
    We had a very interesting discussion in my AP Psych class today over whether one's musical tastes are more Nature or Nature.
    The dissection of musical tastes is generally above my pay grade but given those choices I'll go with Nature.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bad hammy View Post
      The dissection of musical tastes is generally above my pay grade but given those choices I'll go with Nature.
      I think everyone has different reasons why they like what they do, but separated-at-birth identical twin studies describe some mind-blowing similiarities between them that most people would have ascribed to Nurture.

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      • #4
        Fascinating post, Atticus. As a songwriter I've always wondered why folk/acoustic guitar/folk-pop moves me so much vs. other genres. Also, generally, what it is about melody that moves one's ears (but maybe does not another's). I'll go with nature too.

        Your exhibit A (for raw musicality) didn't do much for me but likely just another example of my ears' limitations. My exhibit A for raw musicality would be Dylan's very first album. Man of Constant Sorrow

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        • #5
          Originally posted by exdrake View Post
          My exhibit A for raw musicality would be Dylan's very first album. Man of Constant Sorrow
          Made me look. You're right. Here's his first TV appearance - age 22 - singing that song.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCipKmyngLY

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          • #6
            Awesome-if only for its awesomeness.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by exdrake View Post
              Awesome-if only for its awesomeness.
              Great song!

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StTqXEQ2l-Y

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              • #8
                That was so not on task.

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                • #9
                  Music has some mystical connection to the physics of the universe as a whole. Radio astronomers recognize harmonics in the signals they detect. There is a spiritual/Twilight Zone element to the musical scales.

                  On a much more mundane level, it seems apparent to me that music of different cultures is often built upon the sound and rhythm of the spoken language. The up-and-down notes of Asian music accommodates lyrics in tonal languages. Brazilian tunes are smooth and fluid to match their brand of Portuguese. Etc., etc...

                  Beyond that, there is no accounting for musical taste. My personal playlists are absolutely random.

                  I have always been baffled by the question, "What kind of music do you like?"
                  Me? I like the music that I like and the breadth of it is wide indeed: Latin, classical, all genres of blues, R&B, R&R, samba, bluegrass, jazz, Gilbert $ Sullivan, it's all good (if I happen to like it!)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jc203 View Post
                    I like the music that I like and the breadth of it is wide indeed: Latin, classical, all genres of blues, R&B, R&R, samba, bluegrass, jazz, Gilbert $ Sullivan, it's all good (if I happen to like it!)
                    NIce - my musical tastes follow my gastronomical tastes, which is to say, the things I don't like are legion; the few things I do like, I like intensely . . .. which, pardoxically, tends to burn me out fast on certain things. My play-lists are so heavily repetitive, I have to let them lie fallow every so often, and the dishes I will eat limit me to just a handful of menu items at a handful of eating establishments.

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                    • #11
                      I like to vary my playlists... one day Willie, next day Waylon, then Merle, Ricky, Johnny, George, Hoyt, Hank and a guy your never heard of: Corb Lund and the Hurtin Albertans.

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                      • #12
                        That's quite....varied.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
                          a guy your never heard of: Corb Lund and the Hurtin Albertans.
                          Are you kidding?! He's one of my faves!

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwvitleuJXc

                          [not]

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                          • #14
                            Being on the first wave of baby boomers I can recall those long-ago days when there seemed to be a commonly shared idea of popular music in the USA. An old timey radio and TV show, Your Hit Parade, showcased "pop" hit songs that seemed to have an appeal to people of most ages and most areas of the country. Now there are so many types of music that I have no idea what the categories refer to... "active rock" or "hot adult contemporary" ??? WTF is that?

                            Of course there were always outliers on the music landscape and as the 1950's rolled on more and more genres of music became more accessible and collected more followers.

                            For me, the turn from mainstream radio music began when I was about 10 years old with a 45rpm that my brother's wife brought home Smokey Joe's Cafe by The Robins (later evolved into the Coasters).
                            Not long after I heard Nina Simone singing I Love You Porgy on the radio.
                            Then as a senior in high school I bought the LP of James Brown Live at the Apollo and Link Wray and the Wray men with The Rumble..
                            Each one of those tracks were like an awakening to me that there was a whole universe of awesome music that you'd never hear on the top 40 stations.

                            As for doo-wop, how can you not like stuff like this?
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikt5kHFUYcg
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fnMGXpDSJ0
                            Last edited by jc203; 10-07-2016, 01:42 AM.

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                            • #15
                              I've seen Corb Lund and the guys live several times ... great live show !

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