Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who the h*ll likes all kinds of music?!

Today the Chicago Tribune printed a list of 13 public officials and the top 10 tracks on their I-pods. There were 120 tracks total, since one guy didn’t own an I-pod.

The list was interesting to me for a rather snobby reason. There was not one piece of serious music on it, or, what most folks describe as “classical” although that term technically describes music from a specific era (approximately 1750 – 1827). I did not notice any European folk music either, although that was not at all surprising. Euro folk (other than Celtic, which everyone likes with the exception of aliens and meanies) is an acquired taste, and if you’re a public servant you don’t have a whole lot of time to spend acquiring taste.

Back in the 1970’s when I was a teenager, I often encountered people who claimed they like “all kinds of music”. But what they really meant is they like all kinds of pop music, as these high-profile I-pod top 10’s suggest. When I had friends over, I asked them what kind of tunes they wanted to hear. They invariably said “Oh, anything. I like all kinds of music.” But if I put on a recording of, say, a Moravian cimbalom band or the Brahms Requiem the dismayed reaction was, “Oh please. Not that!

So it was back to Queen or, in pathetic cases, The Archies.

I’m not saying I’d vote for someone because his or her top track was the Bach B-minor Mass, but I would regard that person with more respect, especially if s/he hadn’t been indicted yet.

It’s been a long time since anyone handed me a line about liking all kinds of music. Now many of my friends are musicians themselves, and, believe me, they tell me what they like and what they don’t!

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