Is there a neuroscientist in the house? Quick, get Simon Baron-Cohen on the horn!
I want to know how we develop our taste in music. I used to think it was a simple formula: My parents liked easy listening; therefore, I preferred rock.
However, everyone in my household listens to the same music. And that music crosses several genres. So, what gives? The thought appeared in my mind when I was driving somewhere yesterday, alone in the car. The three songs that played on the first leg of my trip were:
- Spaceman, by The Killers
- Say Hey, by Michael Franti
- Uprising, by Muse
And I love each one. My kids do, too. Rodney is not a big fan of the middle song, but I guess he understands that we like it and whatever. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to bookend the set with Green Day and Linkin Park. And then pepper some Mozart in there, somewhere. Had a country song appeared, or some sort of adult contemporary thing, I would have ejected the disc and cast it away.
On the way home, I toyed with the notion of musical styles as some sort of continuum. At first I was putting classical all the way at one end and then maybe punk at the other extreme. But after some thought, I decided that wasn't right. Noise isn't the right criterion. I think it should be complexity, maybe? And we shouldn't be fooled into thinking that a simple song is not complex, mind you.
I know nothing about music theory (just as I know nothing about neo-cubism). But I figure there must be: 1. Some underlying commonality that links all the kinds I like (as well as all the kinds I don't), no matter how incompatible they may seem 2. Some reason they appeal to me.
Does anyone have an opinion on this?