It is fascinating how personal one’s musical taste can be. Just recently two different ladies in two totally different settings were waxing nostalgic over the “great” music of the ‘80s. That’s interesting to me because I view the ‘80s as that vast musical desert stretching beyond the ‘70s before a few oases appear in the ‘90s. Both of those ladies came of age in the ‘80s which probably explains their preferences, but the era in which one grows up is not necessarily the determiner of musical taste. A lady at our Social Graces dance studio loves to cha-cha to Tom Jones’ “Sex Bomb” and before you conjure up any visuals on that, know that she’s a grandmother. (I’m pretty sure, however, that none of the ladies in the linked video are grandmas.)
Musical talent has nothing to do with one’s taste either. My father was of the strong opinion that good music ceased around 1950. He couldn’t sing or play an instrument. Or dance a lick, according to my mother, but that didn’t stop him from having a definite opinion on the matter.
Of course, one’s musical taste is sometimes a matter of genre rather than era. I think that I love ‘70s music so much, not just because it is the music of my youth, but also because so much of it is good dance music. Discovering the dance music of different eras has been one of my great pleasures the past few years. Martha, however, has not necessarily enjoyed all of my discoveries. While she likes Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, she cannot tolerate Ella Mae Morse. (Contact me immediately if you know who she is because we need to meet at the nearest rockabilly club.) Thanks to the wisdom that has come to us in our 50s, we have not argued over music, however. (Besides, what’s the point? She’s wrong, but won’t admit it. . . . I know that’s actually not a very mature attitude on my part, but hey, maturity is overrated.)
I begin to wonder, however, if sharing certain musical tastes isn’t as important as sharing other values in a relationship. I had a Catholic cousin who married a Jewish man, back in the ‘60s when both families frowned upon the match, but they’re still married. I bet if she loved nothing but opera and he loved nothing but jump blues, however, that the marriage wouldn’t have lasted five years.
Please share your thoughts on musical taste. I’ll be happy to point out where you might be wrong if necessary.