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Factors that Impact the Change in Music Taste Essay

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Updated: Dec 17th, 2021

It is natural for one’s music tastes to change in the course of development. Likely, the genre of music that people listen to during their teenage may not be the one that they listen to in their thirties and forties. There are very many factors that influence the change in music taste. One of these factors is life experiences and exposure to diverse societal aspects. For example, a person who used to listen to music with dirty content will definitely change their taste in music if in the course of their life, they become born-again Christians. People also change their taste in music when they learn about some negative things that their favorite music genre is associated with. For example, there are claims that Rock music is associated with Satanism while Reggae music is associated with abuse of marijuana. Those are claims that can make people who did not have previous knowledge of such associations change their allegiance to the genres if they were fans of the genres. The other factor that can make one change taste in music is educational experiences. As people attain higher and higher levels of education, they get exposed to the finer things in life and they tend to distance themselves to anything that is associated with mediocrity. This means that if they used to listen to a music genre that is considered by the refined people in the society as mediocre, then they will find themselves losing their interest in that genre of music. For example, few refined people in the society listen to Ragga and Crunk music.

When I was young, I used to listen to hip hop music but I longer listen to hip hop. This shift can be attributed to life and educational experiences that I have undergone. During my childhood, I could not listen to anything that was not hip hop. I used to find comfort and thrill in all genres of hip hop and my lifestyle was dictated by the hip hop trends. I would talk like the hip-hop artists and even dress like them. My interest in hip-hop music had made the genre not only a source of entertainment but also a philosophy of life. I almost joined a small hip-hop group in my neighborhood, had my parents not intervened. However, as I grew older, my interest in the genre waned. I started viewing the contents of the song in another light and the pleasure I used to derive from violent and vulgar lyrics diminished. My exposure to literature had a lot to do with the change in taste. Literature exposed me to principles and tenets of feminism. One of the issues tackled by feminism in literature was the portrayal of women in music and hip hop was one genre that portrayed women very negatively. Hip hop is a genre that subjugates women in the society and also engenders misogyny in the society. Thus literature exposed me to the dark side of hip hop and my attitude towards the genre changed.

Today, I no longer listen to hip hop. I don’t even know where my large compilation of hip-hop music went to. This is because my music taste has changed. The change was not a sudden choice. I did not sit down and choose to stop listening to hip hop and start listening to another genre of music. This change in taste came slowly, naturally and subconsciously. Though my attitude towards the genre had changed as a result of the educational exposure, the shift in taste was not that abrupt. I found myself listening to less and less hip hop and the influence the genre had in my life also reduced as I grew up and got exposed to more mature things in the world. Hip hop, especially the popular gangster hip hop popularized by the likes of Tupac Shakur, DMX, Snoop Dog and Eminem cannot go hand in hand with maturity.

Nowadays, I listen to inspirational music. This goes hand in hand with my reading culture because I am addicted to inspirational literature. It is my exposure to feministic literature that slowly drew me away from hip hop while inspirational literature activated my interest in inspirational music. The inspirational music I listen to nowadays is not genre-specific. I don’t care whether the song is reggae, country, rock, raga or hip hop, as long as it has inspiring content. This shift in taste has made me detest any music that is anti-social and has immoral content. I appreciate songs that are socially and morally constructive; songs that can create a positive change in the society or the lives of individuals. Some of the songs that I find most inspiring include Dreamer by Osborne which talks about environmental conservation, I Know I Can by Nas, Through the Wire by Kanye West; it’s My Life by Bon Jovi and the Coward of the County by Kenny Rogers. Most gospel songs are also inspirational and that is why my interest in gospel music has grown in the recent months. Music by Kirk Franklin, Women of Faith, Donnie Mc Larkin and Michael Smith give me a lot of inspiration and motivation to face the challenges that are there in life. This change of taste in music is an indication of a change in personality brought about by life experiences and a rise in the level of education. It is also a sign of maturity evidenced by the change in choices that I make as I grow up. The change in music taste in most individuals takes a definite pattern. It is very hard to find people changing from sober and constructive tastes like country to anti-social genres like gangster hip hop as they grow up. This means that I am not an exception because my shift in taste actually followed the normal pattern. I appreciate the changes that have taken place in the choice of music that I listen to. This is because music taste is part of the definition of who I am and this applies to every other individual. This means that society will definitely judge you and me through the kind of music that we listen to. It is therefore important to create a good image in society by having sober music tastes especially when you are past the age of eighteen. Maybe as I grow older, my taste will change towards another genre like jazz to signal a change in class and attitudes.

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