Thursday, 27 October 2016

Not Being Into Music

“So, what music do you listen to?”

I can’t be the only one who anticipates this question with some form of dread. I’ve taken to answering it with “oh, just what’s on the radio, really” which normally gets me some form of “oh, okay,” reply. I know, it sounds like I only listen to music that’s popular enough to be on the radio. But I really only listen to music when it’s on the radio in the car. It’s not something I go out of my way to do, normally.

The truth is that I’m just not that into music. This reply tends to lead to responses ranging from incredulous disbelief to outright shock. Someone once replied with “but what do you do when you’re alone in the evenings?” At the time, I just spluttered out a “Huh? Oh, well, stuff I guess,” sort of answer. The real answer should have been “watch movies, watch TV, read books, play video games,” which are all things that engage me more than music, which tends to annoy me if it’s on for longer than about a minute. Music kind of becomes the background radiation of my life, being on in every shop and as soundtracks to every film, but never as something I pay much attention to.

I guess I’ve never really seen the point of listening to music when you’re alone. What do you do, just sit there and listen to it? And sure, occasionally I’ll hear a track I like, but I never go out of my way to listen to it when I’m home. I’d much rather do any of the activities I listed above. Public transport, I’m much happier with a book or even just the ability to have some quiet time looking out the window. You can do it when people are over, I guess, but there’s still so much else I’d rather do with someone else. Like, you could watch a movie together, have a nice catch-up chat, you could bake something, (Wow, I’m turning into my mother) or you can go outside somewhere. And for large groups? You can go to a concert or clubbing, sure, but I’d much rather sit down and enjoy a nice meal together where you can actually talk.

All this would be fine if music wasn’t treated with such importance by the majority of the population. We live in a society where not liking music marks me as different, weird. Everyone else places such a high importance on it, that it forms a basis of many a social interaction. I spent much of my life thinking I could ‘develop’ a taste in music over time. I thought it would be something that would happen as I got older. I bought an iPod and an iTunes card once (biggest waste of money I spent in my life) and thought that would do it. I used it about twice and it had something like the exact same twenty songs on it for its whole life. I went clubbing, I went to concerts, and my opinion on both of them is about the same – too loud and too many people. Maybe I just don’t have the music gene.

It also tends to take me a long time to recognise tunes. I can hear a song I’ve heard thousands of times as a background track to a video game and I can’t work out where it’s from. Sometimes, I won’t recognise songs until the chorus hits. Connecting songs to the band that sings them is an impossible puzzle. My cousin (she’s ten) has taken to asking me “do you like this song, Fiona?” within the first four beats of a song. My reaction is usually “Meh, it’s okay.” “Do you like this one?” “I don’t even know which one it is, yet.”

Does anyone else feel this way about music? Am I making this out to be too much of a special snowflake style trait? Do you have something that the public in general treats as highly important but doesn’t really click for you?

No comments:

Post a Comment