Why is music so important to all of us? A lot of people believe that our music taste defines us, and many others see it an indicator of status.
Let’s say you see an attractive person at a bar. You’re curious about them because, well, they’re attractive. Later, a terrible song that you hate starts playing, and you sarcastically shout, “That’s my jam!” and start laughing. Before it’s clear that you actually think it’s the worst song ever, that you despise the band that plays it, everything they represent, and even their fans (specially their fans), you notice something. It’s the hot person talking to you. They love that song too! That’s their favorite band of all time! And, unlike you, they're serious about it! So you automatically say, “Of course! Yes! Good… band. Love their work.” So you lie, and it’s a small lie, a lie you carry out throughout the night. Everything goes great. You and Fan-of-the-Terrible-Band have a lot of fun when you avoid the subject of music, and it all leads to sex. Cool, right? Would you do something like that? Or have you?
Why is music so important to all of us? A lot of people believe that our music taste defines us while others consider it an indicator of status. Some brag about their jobs, about their degrees or their taste in wine, and others brag about the music they love and how intensely they love it. That’s when snobbish attitudes around music appear. Take, for instance, when someone tries to impress their date by throwing random facts about an obscure band from New Zealand, or someone thinks it’s okay to interrogate a person they just met about the origins of progressive music. The main reason why music is taken so seriously is the fact that it’s never about music alone.
When someone tells you that they like Ariana Grande’s music but they also love Mozart, it’s because on some level they think that other people will think they're dumb for liking pop music. So they want to make sure that you know that they’re actually quite smart and cultured. Unconsciously or not, we associate music genres with abstract stuff like intelligence and even morality, and we like to think that it’s an infallible indicator of those things. It’s important to question these associations, but at the same time we have to accept that we all make them. We all need guidelines to quickly have a general idea about a person. That’s why we end up lying about loving a prestigious artist we’re supposed to love or hiding our embarrassing guilty pleasures.
All of those things are important if we’re looking for a relationship and we want to know how compatible we are with that person. And yet, we still lie when we just want to get laid. Is it because we think our favorite music genre is for lame people who are bad in bed? What if actually we end up liking that person? An unexpected relationship will begin and we won’t know how to come clean. We’ll fall in love with that person, and it will be impossible to tell the truth after we invested too much on the lie, a lot of fake dancing and enthusiasm at concerts. Then we’ll marry them, and we’ll only listen to Justin Timberlake’s albums on Thursdays at 10 p.m., while our partner is out with their friends. Years later, the secret will rot our souls and we’ll get divorced because we weren’t honest from the beginning.
Of course that won’t happen. But we should just be honest, or else we might run the risk of listening to an awful sex playlist.
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Images by Laurken Kendall.