Most people who would describe themselves as passionate about music would probably agree with the following statement. Music, of all kinds, can be powerful and transformative. Music is an ethereal thing that enters our ears and takes a hold of us like nothing else. If so many people agree with this sentiment, why are there so many jerks when it comes to music?
“Musical pretension” is something I cannot stand to be around. Music is not a quantitative science that is tested and analyzed. Like many other forms of art, it is extremely subjective. Too many times I have encountered someone relentlessly bashing someone elses music taste for no apparent reason. Is it so ridiculous to think that someone likes an artist that you don’t?
I have always been curious as to why people act this way. What do you gain by publicly condemning the music of others? If I were to really look into the issue, I’m sure it would eventually lead to a discussion on ego. For some, putting others down will bring them up. That’s a much longer discussion for a different day.
Being pretentious about music can manifest itself in another way. Everyone has that one friend who feels the need to advertise how they only listen to local bands or they knew of an artist before they made it big and sold out. I apologize I haven’t heard of the band from your hometown that only uses and banjo and a synthesizer and is really underground.
My issue does not lie with what people are listening to, whether its the current pop hits or some obscure group from outside of Seattle. It also isn’t with people sharing music with others. I encourage showing music with others. My issue is simply that many people assume their music choices are superior to others and feel the need to put others down in order to prove their point. It can be The Doors, Nicki Minaj, Tiesto or Neutral Milk Hotel. If it makes you nod your head and feel something, I’m happy. Music should be a tool of unification, not separation.
Written by: Jona Block