Throughout history, music has been a major influence on people’s lives. One can see this because music has been part of societies’ background for centuries. However, in this modern society, there are so many different types of music for all the different types of social circles. Not to say that there wasn’t in the past, but even more so now. The question is though, how all these different types of music shape us as individuals and as a society?
Music has defined societies and shaped individuals for as long as music has been available to listen to. In the past, music was a major cultural influence. Depending on where in the world you lived, there tended to be different types of music that was associated with a certain culture. Now in the world, these types of music exist, but now even more people other that just a certain culture has access to all this music. Even though there are all these types of music, people tend to align themselves with a certain type of music that they can relate with.
There is an emotional aspect of music that has either been denied or frequently ridiculed (Silbermann 73). If one were to look at their self, they would see that their attachment to music might very well be due to some emotional influence. Like those with strong family ties might enjoy country music. Country music today, with its suburban, middle-aged themes of family and renewal, might cause listeners to feel like they are actually a part of the song because the can relate to it and understand how the musician feels (Lunsford 423). This could very well be the same with other types of music such as pop, rock, R&B, rap, and other miscellaneous types of music. However, some experts say that the emotional element of music can also be a hindrance to those who are over-sensitive to music. The effect of music might cause these people to stifle their own anxiously guarded emotions (Silbermann 73). Now that it’s brought to my attention, I might just pay more attention to how this might be true with some people. It is a very rational observation that I have never noticed before. There are some people, mainly teenagers, who seem to drown themselves in music to escape the stress and emotions of everyday life and some actually make the musicians their role models.
Since people can relate to the lyrics in music, people more than likely can relate with each other. This is probably one of the reasons why music can form social groups.
In a survey, researchers found that there are different characteristics for listeners of each type of music.
1. “Folk” –Has few, very sharp preferences and many dislikes. Below average education and spends very little time with music.
2. “Progressive” –Slightly above average education; tends to be urban; plays and instrument more than often; rarely listens to radio.
3. “Rock-Pop” –90% of these people are younger than forty. Is very musically active.
4. “Poly-Listener –Opposed to more serious music; frequently listens to music broadcasts in the car and watches music programs on television.
5. “Classical” –In addition to interest in “classical”, above average interests in dance and light music; prefers listening to “classical music” in concert to radio (Blaukopf 199).
It is very interesting to see all the different things that can shape our personality. Knowing that music has such an influence on our lives is something that can really make a person think about the music we listen to. I guess it’s true that music can be a gateway to a person’s soul.