Music Snobbery

elitism

I’ll admit, I do, on occasion, turn up my nose at music, and I know I shouldn’t. I can be closed-minded, only letting down my guard after a long battle, when I finally admit I was wrong: that the genre I’ve been saying is crap throws me an album that I really like; that a band I’ve campaigned against liking for a long time finally releases an album I enjoy.

But recently I joined a music discussion forum that I’m an active member of, and I find myself shocked at the comments from most of the members to each other. The forum is populated by a large number of complete music snobs, who enjoy art-rock, white noise, drone, post-rock music that no-one else knows. And as soon as one of their liked artists becomes popular, they very quickly fall out of favour on the forum. Alongside this, anyone who confesses to not liking this music, or liking other music not accepted by the senior forum members, quickly finds themselves facing a deluge of abuse. It’s a scary place to be, to see a group of people who all think they are the greatest. Phrases used on said forum include music that is “far too popular at this point for any of “the cool kids” to keep listening to”, and references to themselves as “people who know more about music than anyone else”….

Faced with this attitude, I’ve vowed to open my mind a little more, and to not judge anyone on their tastes. I may sometimes do it, but at least I’ll be aware of it, and looking to lessen the number of times it happens.

Please – don’t be like this.

5 comments

  1. It’s refreshing to hear this. Too commonly, people who genuinely have a depth of knowledge in a genre (or in any topic, realistically; not just music) become somewhat ‘programmed’ by their own developed tastes…. breaking out of that mindset requires a conscious effort, but can occasionally lead to new discoveries/thoughts. At the very least, it can make you a nicer person. :)

    I am not an aficionado in any particular genre, and I know my own music preferences in any one month may be entirely different to the playlist for the next. For example, for the first time in quite a few years, I’m going through a singer/songwriter phase at the moment, and I’m always looking out for recommendations. It’s not nice to think that you can’t explore a new genre without risk of ridicule, but sadly many forums are like that. Scouring music blogs has proved a lot less stressful, and in many ways more enlightening.

    Great blog, by the way. LOVED your J. Ralph rec, and am searching around on emusic and elsewhere for more of his stuff. Beautiful.

    Cheers.

  2. GYMO — I think it’s only appropriate you forward this link on to your forum buddies. I really like your take on the elitist attitudes, and its hard to remember to not fall into the trap of judging others in the same way many music lovers do.

    Loki — I really enjoyed your comment and if you wouldn’t be opposed to getting advise from a fellow commenter, then I may be able to help some fresh ideas for singer/songwriters: Kalai (think Amos Lee’s voice with Ben Harper’s vibe), Joshua James (listen to his raspy goodness that is “Soul & the Sea”), if you’re wanting a poppy sound listen to Matt White‘s newest album (listen to “Best Days” or “Love”), or for a beautiful girl singer/songwriter go straight to Priscilla Ahn‘s myspace page.

  3. Colin – many thanks for the recommendations. At first listen they all sound great so I’ll definitely have a look around for more of their stuff. Appreciate it!

    Cheers

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