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How to enjoy any genre

Why do we enjoy the genres we like? Why is it so difficult for us to enjoy genres that we aren’t familiar with? And why do people get stuck in their ways so easily? Well on my measly 24 years on this planet, I would like to present a theory entirely based on my experiences and my observations on watching others!
1Calvin Harris
18 Months

Our early exposure to music defines exactly what music is and how we consume it. I’m not talking about the seemingly innate qualities for us to enjoy melody, a catchy chorus and pleasant sounds, but more the method from which we enjoy music.
2My Chemical Romance
Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

For instance many of us have to learn how to enjoy a full album, the patience it requires to see beyond the tracks and observe the piece as a whole. The same goes for most facets of music. If we’re conditioned to seek out fun, immediately gratifying chorus in our music, this is exactly the mindset we’ll take when listening to new kinds of music.

The above examples are important as every genre has its own unique way of engaging the listener. An easy example is enjoying 90s boom bap hip-hop as someone who grew up on a steady diet or rock, metal and pop. The idea of putting such great emphasis on lyrics and being patient to endure a repetitive, often fairly dull beat is not something that a fan of solely rock and metal tend to excel in. Lyrics in those genres are supplementary, not primary, as are flow and groove.
4Death Grips
The Money Store

AND HERE LIES THE MAIN ARGUMENT: Every genre tackles engaging the listener differently and has its own unique qualities to offer. However, we often go into a new genre looking for the same qualities we find in ones we currently like, subconsciously or not. It’s no surprise that we use gateway genre banding bands to transition from one genre to another. It’s very unlikely a hip-hop head would jump to enjoy abrasive electronic music, but they might after getting into Death Grips.

SO HOW CAN WE LEARN TO ENJOY ANY GENRE? Simple: understand what makes that genre work and attempt to view this new music through this lens. After a while, it will come naturally and you’ll be able to shift mindsets automatically. This goes beyond looking for a type of mood, sound or instrumental melody but even the in terms of albums or songs. For instance, dance/club focused electronic music is rarely enjoyed in an album format and truly excels through a DJ. A mediocre track can sound transcendent when mixed properly into a good set. You just can’t look at many electronic EPs and attempt to assume the journey will be similar to that of your favourite EP.

Same to all of you who seem to think the guitar is the ONLY instrument that is allowed to be the base of music.

Of course, there are exceptions to all of this, but for the most part I think my general argument stands and I think it’s why many people just aren’t able to get new genres to click. Also, bad music is bad and is prevalent in every genre, right mindset or not.
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