liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
[personal profile] ceb asked: What kinds of music do you enjoy and what do you get out of them?

I have a reasonable education in (Western) classical music, enough to get some of the nuances. Specifically I spent about 10 years learning to play the piano; I was never very good, but I was quite advanced by the end of it, and know enough about the development and the theory and something about musical techniques to get fair amount out of it. I prefer Baroque music to Classical in the narrow sense; I basically like just about anything Baroque and earlier, whereas I'm pickier about true Classical. I also fell completely in love with some of the Romantics from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I don't globally hate Modern and contemporary classical music, but I am much more ignorant of the last hundred years of musical development and therefore find recent stuff less accessible. I'm also completely lost when it comes to jazz, most of it I simply can't get my head round at all.

Most of the time I like to actually listen to classical music rather than just having it in the background. I like choral music and orchestral music and piano music about equally, it depends on my mood. I sometimes enjoy live performances and concerts, but I don't get to them extremely often, because I put a relatively low priority on social events that involve several hours of not being able to have conversations. I do sometimes put Radio 3 on while I'm cooking or washing up, the kind of activity where I mostly stay in the same place and have spare brain to pay attention to what I'm listening to.

Regarding popular music, there are very few genres I outright refuse to listen to, but I gravitate mostly towards the rock sort of direction. Rock rather than pop for the older stuff, let's say the second half of the twentieth century, rock rather than R&B for contemporary stuff, though I don't absolutely repudiate R&B, just I am much less au fait with it. [personal profile] doseybat introduced me to some of the less mainstream subgenres of rock music, goth and punk and industrial and some bits of metal, and I continue to enjoy those. Basically stuff with a lot of electric guitar :-)

The industrial side of goth shades into the more beat-heavy side of electronica and that isn't a very defended boundary, and likewise the softer, ballady end of rock music includes more and more folk rock and even straight folk these days. This isn't exactly a genre, but I am a complete sucker for pretty, breathy female voices, so singers like that massively dominate the softer end of my musical taste spectrum. I generally prefer music where the lyrics mean something (rather than purely instrumental music or music with very banal or nonsense lyrics), but that's a mild preference, not an absolute.

The way I tend to enjoy this kind of music is that I play randomized playlists or equivalent radio stations in the background while I'm working. (That's most of what shows up in the music field on my DW posts.) I rarely if ever listen to a whole album all the way through. I'm not really a connoisseur, I just like some stuff. I have somewhat turned into one of those awful middle-aged people who sometimes get excited about nostalgia music from our teenage years, but I do seek out new stuff as well. In fact my ideal background music track contains about an even mix of songs I know well with artists who are completely new to me. I rarely go to live performances of popular music, with the exception of VNV Nation gigs.

In fact [personal profile] ceb herself is a big influence on my musical taste, I'm always listening to her last.fm and going through her festival setlists in detail.

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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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