How to develop my taste in music?

msankadi

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Hi

Let me start with a bit of personal background as that will be relevant for my questions. I was born in a traditional middle class family in MP. Hardly watched any movies, tv or radio probably till 8th-10th class. Got selected for an exam I prepped for and left after 12th, went to Mumbai. I listened to music rarely on some sunday shows or while playing antakshari till that time

In my hostel life, post 12th, is truly when I started interacting with the world apart from studies etc. Started watching movies, tv series, opened an email account, played lan games and started listening to music. Listened to mostly Hindi music but got exposed to few classic english songs too because of my wingmates and other aficionados in my hostel.

I love old songs anything which is not too loud and truly love kishor,rafi and older hits.
Over the past few years, I have reached a stage in my life when I have time to cultivate new interests and can honestly afford to do it easily now. I have tried several times to listen to English songs and expand my taste for music from 'just bollywood' songs, old and some new ones. I am fluent in English and language is not a barrier.

However, the problem is this: It always feels like a chore to me, I have fallen in love with a few english songs and artists - Johnny cash, Taylor Swift. Out of 100 songs that I try I like maybe 5 new songs. It feels like work and after that when I listen to my favorites in my 'existing' taste of music, I feel so relieved.
Also, I am not that comfortable listening to songs on headphones, get uneasy feeling after a couple of songs. On my speakers I can listen to songs for an hour or so before it overwhelms my senses.

Sorry for the long post, am not sure if I have a point, but I want to know your point of view on the following:

1. Did any of you have similar journeys? What helped you expand your taste?

2. Is it just me or do you all have such low hit rate for liking new songs (5/100)?

3. Should I just give up and stay within my defined boundaries (existing taste) ?

I have recently gotten a Tidal subscription and have taken a lot of playlists from other FMs and websites, to create a collection, which I am trying now to see if it sparks an interest. I have an okay setup for my avr/speakers - yamaha htr3072/boston acoustics 5.1 played via my nuc on tidal

One more tidbit: I can typically watch movies/tv series and can game for long sessions - so most probably not a physical limitation. Maybe I am just overanalyzing myself and complicating things - I guess that is the downside of being an Analyst, when you turn your tools inwards
 

Record Player

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Very well written in explaining your background. I for one have been exposed to a lot of music especially English from a very young age with the advantage of studying in a convent.

My friend, I don’t think there is any approach any of us can give you on this. I would recommend you continue to do what you are doing and explore as much of new music you can. You will eventually start to have an affair with all sorts of music :) and probably fall in Love.

Cheers and have a good one !
 

chander

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Maybe I am just overanalyzing myself and complicating things
This is it.

I had an OCD of having to listen to the whole discographies to make my playlists as I didn't want to miss out on any songs from an artist. It made the whole process very tedious and analytical. I ended up having over 1700 discographies, of artists of all genres.

What really helped was when I started listening to music in the back ground. I still listen to the entire discographies, but it is just running in the back ground and whatever clicks - goes on the playlist - whatever doesn't I just ignore it. I have music on all day now, for the past 7-8 years almost.

I know this is hardly a sound suggestion, but it did help make music fun again. Also there are a bazillion recorded songs, even if I miss something, I am sure I will find something else. Music is a journey, trying to analyze each step is only going to make it tiring.

***What I am trying to say is just let it play, you do not have to critically listen each song.
 

ssf

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I want to know your point of view on the following:

1. Did any of you have similar journeys? What helped you expand your taste?

2. Is it just me or do you all have such low hit rate for liking new songs (5/100)?

3. Should I just give up and stay within my defined boundaries (existing taste) ?

1. Did any of you have similar journeys? What helped you expand your taste?

Most replies to this thread is going to be long. I don't think can keep it short either. If I recall correctly, my first exposure to music was my uncles playing the mouth organ and singing along with a few pegs. I was too young to remember the songs being played but I remember them having a great time. My dad had a flute although I have never heard him play it. My grandmother and mother, they were in the church Choir so that was another exposure to music. In my early teens, I remember looking forward to Thursdays when the radio had a half hour slot for English music. Late teens saw me going crazy on rock music. I had friends who were musicians and they used to take me along on gigs. A friend even left a drum kit at home. Friends designing amps and speakers for me, blasting AC/DC while playing the drums at home is going to test the patience of any parent. Dad said, either the drums go or you go. The drums went. I remember telling my friends that I will be listening to Heavy Metal and Rock and nothing else for the rest of my life. Then I grew older. A cousin took up music in Berklee and was into Jazz. I always used to tell him that I never could understand his music. Somewhere in between came iConcerts on cable. Loved that one. My uncle was a huge fan of western classical music. He had a lot of LP's of the genre and every time I gave him a visit, was treated to classical playing in the background. When I got married, my wife brought along with her, her taste for Pop music. She even now calls the Jazz music that listen to as noise. Once internet made inroads into my life, a whole new world opened up. Hifivision happened. There is a treasure chest of music in here of most genres. I further explored classical, jazz, fusion, carnatic, hindustani, gazzals etc. Also, I went broke buying all the equipment to listen to the songs.

2. Is it just me or do you all have such low hit rate for liking new songs (5/100)?

Not really. If tend to like most songs in the genres that I normally listen to .

3. Should I just give up and stay within my defined boundaries (existing taste) ?

No, no and another big no. Did I say no ? With internet giving us access to a wide variety of music and Hifivision members recommendations in the music part of the forum, it would be criminal to give up :p
 

moktan

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Hi

Let me start with a bit of personal background as that will be relevant for my questions. I was born in a traditional middle class family in MP. Hardly watched any movies, tv or radio probably till 8th-10th class. Got selected for an exam I prepped for and left after 12th, went to Mumbai. I listened to music rarely on some sunday shows or while playing antakshari till that time

In my hostel life, post 12th, is truly when I started interacting with the world apart from studies etc. Started watching movies, tv series, opened an email account, played lan games and started listening to music. Listened to mostly Hindi music but got exposed to few classic english songs too because of my wingmates and other aficionados in my hostel.

I love old songs anything which is not too loud and truly love kishor,rafi and older hits.
Over the past few years, I have reached a stage in my life when I have time to cultivate new interests and can honestly afford to do it easily now. I have tried several times to listen to English songs and expand my taste for music from 'just bollywood' songs, old and some new ones. I am fluent in English and language is not a barrier.

However, the problem is this: It always feels like a chore to me, I have fallen in love with a few english songs and artists - Johnny cash, Taylor Swift. Out of 100 songs that I try I like maybe 5 new songs. It feels like work and after that when I listen to my favorites in my 'existing' taste of music, I feel so relieved.
Also, I am not that comfortable listening to songs on headphones, get uneasy feeling after a couple of songs. On my speakers I can listen to songs for an hour or so before it overwhelms my senses.

Sorry for the long post, am not sure if I have a point, but I want to know your point of view on the following:

1. Did any of you have similar journeys? What helped you expand your taste?

2. Is it just me or do you all have such low hit rate for liking new songs (5/100)?

3. Should I just give up and stay within my defined boundaries (existing taste) ?

I have recently gotten a Tidal subscription and have taken a lot of playlists from other FMs and websites, to create a collection, which I am trying now to see if it sparks an interest. I have an okay setup for my avr/speakers - yamaha htr3072/boston acoustics 5.1 played via my nuc on tidal

One more tidbit: I can typically watch movies/tv series and can game for long sessions - so most probably not a physical limitation. Maybe I am just overanalyzing myself and complicating things - I guess that is the downside of being an Analyst, when you turn your tools inwards

1. Did any of you have similar journeys? What helped you expand your taste?
My journey was different. The school I went to had music and singing lessons ( not vocal training just singing in groups )and early on we were introduced to songs by Carpenters , Cliff Richard , Simon and Garfunkel , Beatles etc. Also, the town had a vibrant rock music scene , pirated cassettes were available by the plentiful and we had seniors who were into music of all manners of genres. But till then it was rock music all along. I skipped pop music , rap and techno. My interest in jazz was a conscious one and I deliberately ‘schooled’ myself in this genre by reading about it in books and websites , conversing with other votaries of jazz ( both amateur musicians and avid listeners ) and frenetically downloading stuff through torrent sites. Sadly not much live music because the live music scene still was very much rock or metal.
So after that initial exposure for about ten years of listening to nothing but jazz of all kinds , my tastes settled and I became more self-assured in what I liked listening and then went back to listening to rock , blues and off course jazz. So today it isn’t just the listening with manic focus to make up for a deficit but just listening to what I like.
2. Is it just me or do you all have such low hit rate for liking new songs (5/100)?
‘Music listening’ would get into a rut if one didn’t invest time listening and reading about new stuff. That is what makes this engagement so exciting.
3. Should I just give up and stay within my defined boundaries (existing taste) ?
Definitely not. Perhaps the acts you like are themselves listening to music by other folks. Was surprised for example to read , the high esteem Jerry Garcia held the Beatles in and being a deadhead at one time , I went right back to listening to the Beatles , just for Jerry’s sake. And what great music i rediscovered again.
 

Nitin K

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I love old songs anything which is not too loud and truly love kishor,rafi and older hits.
Over the past few years, I have reached a stage in my life when I have time to cultivate new interests and can honestly afford to do it easily now. I have tried several times to listen to English songs and expand my taste for music from 'just bollywood' songs, old and some new ones. I am fluent in English and language is not a barrier.

However, the problem is this: It always feels like a chore to me, I have fallen in love with a few english songs and artists - Johnny cash, Taylor Swift. Out of 100 songs that I try I like maybe 5 new songs. It feels like work and after that when I listen to my favorites in my 'existing' taste of music, I feel so relieved.
Also, I am not that comfortable listening to songs on headphones, get uneasy feeling after a couple of songs. On my speakers I can listen to songs for an hour or so before it overwhelms my senses.

Hi,

There is certainly nothing wrong about what you feel about liking fewer new songs from the many. I am pretty much in the same boat with more or less fixed artists that I listen to & very few of the english/hindi newer ones that appeal to my tastes in music (maybe I must have missed some good artistes/tracks). Also if you like fewer english artistes as compared to the hindi ones, that's perfectly fine as everyone's tastes are different.

The earlier era that you have mentioned had brilliant, singers, lyricists & musicians that we have grown up listening to. Hence in the new generation songs we find very few who can fill in those shoes. One thing I do find very evident is, that the mastering technology of the newer ones have improved by leaps & bounds & they sound very dynamic. So if the Lyrics, instruments & the voice quality is good, then it is a real treat to hear the newer ones too.

Regarding headphones, I too find it uncomfortable listening beyond a few minutes but then that's just a personal preference.


Regards.
 

msankadi

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Thanks a lot for your inputs. It is reassuring to hear from you all and that I am not doing anything 'wrong'
 

gurujee

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Music is not food that you have to consume for the protein or vitamin irrespective of its taste. It is not brocoli. Music is a completely personal affair. No one expect you to expand or enrich your musical taste. Listen what you like.

I think taste in music is more about inheriting than expanding. When you are exposed to certain new things in music you acquire that taste if you find them good. People may get into a friend circle with similar taste in music- and they do not get into a group and expect each other to have similar taste in music. I like a post here where it is mentioned about wife's taste and thought about jazz. I have absolutely gone through similar experience. I can not tolerate her music (any current Bollywood song) at all and spend few hours in late night and early morning in a separate bed room with my music.

I think being choosy is not a bad thing. Rather I would say that your taste is refined. I have a friend who is very choosy regarding movies. We both watch similar kind of films but while I usually like 8 out of 10, she will like 2 out of 10. Taste differs.

Here comes the longer paragraph. When I was a kid, my father used to listen only old Hindi songs especially of Hemant Kumar, Talat Mehmood. At those time, I usually don't prefer to listen to those and looking for the trending Bollywood songs. But as I grew old, and exposed to English pop, I was drawn to them and stopped listening to Bollywood songs all together (except those by Ar Rehman). Later, I stopped listening English pop when I discovered songs of Enya and other new age stuff. Then I entered into western classical. Today, I am purely into jazz but listen new age, country, folk, classical, some ghazals and only Hindi old songs of Hemant Kumar. I barely listen to new Bollywood songs. The point I want to make is - I was exposed to old Hindi songs at an age when you are not matured enough to have a taste of your own. So I inherited the musical taste of my father. And I consider those songs the gems. But along with the age and exposure, I acquired new tastes. No one has forced me to like this or that.

So just enjoy the music!
 

Hiten

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1) earlier My uncle and my dad had influence on me. Later on till today online forums/members and their postings helped me expand my taste.
2) x x x
3) Goal of a person should be to evolve. Expand your boundries. Listen to any Indian Western classical music; jazz if you prefer. because they are ultimate refinement. Imitate what learned and enlightened music listeners do. Not to fit in the society/club with them but to grow as a person. I listen to Indian / Western Classical. I bought a book on Western classical music to learn. I talk to my friends who know naunces of Indian classical music. But whatever I read in the book or had discussion with friends mostly goes above my head. My brain is not made for this. So I just listen to whichever classical music, jazz (Some times rock) that sounds good to my ear.

Listen to large number of variety of music. Its vast ocean out there. Equipments dont matter. Youtube on computer speakers will do. Youtube just gives me preferences to music which I am listening to on sidebar because of its browsing history algorithms. OR browse any other source that you prefer.

Just one piece of advice. Dont ever listen to Heavy Metal. It is for people who has surpassed human evolvement beyond classical music.
just kidding guys just kidding :p
 

arj

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One more tidbit: I can typically watch movies/tv series and can game for long sessions - so most probably not a physical limitation. Maybe I am just overanalyzing myself and complicating things - I guess that is the downside of being an Analyst, when you turn your tools inwards
I guess your last line says it all :)

Music is something you enjoy. If you like it you listen to it and thats it and Its ok if you listen to only 10 songs and are happy with it

You can always stream spotify ..i believe it suggests new music based on what you usually listen to. In fact some games have wonderful music as well.

This forum has a couple of music threads and you can always find it on you tube or spotify and if you like it then buy it
 
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I have a feeling you might discover more about your own self as you go about your musical exploration in this introspectional way. If you are ‘analytical’, why fight it? Embrace it. Analyse the music on various parameters, document, discuss, or even blog your analysis. Your way of following this hobby can be your own unique way. It’s just an extension of who you are.

For example, I’ve been going about my following of Hindustani classical over the last couple of months by categorising artists into their gharanas (looking up websites for the lineages, including gurus) and preparing gharana specific playlists. That might sound excessive effort for most, but for me it’s not just about listening to their music, but also about making sense of it in my own ways. And understanding them in their context is an important part of it. This project is just one of the many I’ve similarly undertaken in my effort to enjoy this habit my own way.

Explore yours. And follow it unabashedly.
 
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Bhaskar Jyoti Talapatra

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Hi

Let me start with a bit of personal background as that will be relevant for my questions. I was born in a traditional middle class family in MP. Hardly watched any movies, tv or radio probably till 8th-10th class. Got selected for an exam I prepped for and left after 12th, went to Mumbai. I listened to music rarely on some sunday shows or while playing antakshari till that time

In my hostel life, post 12th, is truly when I started interacting with the world apart from studies etc. Started watching movies, tv series, opened an email account, played lan games and started listening to music. Listened to mostly Hindi music but got exposed to few classic english songs too because of my wingmates and other aficionados in my hostel.

I love old songs anything which is not too loud and truly love kishor,rafi and older hits.
Over the past few years, I have reached a stage in my life when I have time to cultivate new interests and can honestly afford to do it easily now. I have tried several times to listen to English songs and expand my taste for music from 'just bollywood' songs, old and some new ones. I am fluent in English and language is not a barrier.

However, the problem is this: It always feels like a chore to me, I have fallen in love with a few english songs and artists - Johnny cash, Taylor Swift. Out of 100 songs that I try I like maybe 5 new songs. It feels like work and after that when I listen to my favorites in my 'existing' taste of music, I feel so relieved.
Also, I am not that comfortable listening to songs on headphones, get uneasy feeling after a couple of songs. On my speakers I can listen to songs for an hour or so before it overwhelms my senses.

Sorry for the long post, am not sure if I have a point, but I want to know your point of view on the following:

1. Did any of you have similar journeys? What helped you expand your taste?

2. Is it just me or do you all have such low hit rate for liking new songs (5/100)?

3. Should I just give up and stay within my defined boundaries (existing taste) ?

I have recently gotten a Tidal subscription and have taken a lot of playlists from other FMs and websites, to create a collection, which I am trying now to see if it sparks an interest. I have an okay setup for my avr/speakers - yamaha htr3072/boston acoustics 5.1 played via my nuc on tidal

One more tidbit: I can typically watch movies/tv series and can game for long sessions - so most probably not a physical limitation. Maybe I am just overanalyzing myself and complicating things - I guess that is the downside of being an Analyst, when you turn your tools inwards
Hello
Msankadi
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have a similar journey as yours. I was born in a Bengali middle class family in a village atleast 70 Kms away from Kolkata. In my childhood I had a Philips valve set radio and an HMV FIESTA record player with some LPs and EPs. Then Bollywood was strictly prohibited in my house( do not know why). However my journey as a listener started with regular radio programmes and occasional vinyl spinning. Along side these I had a chance to come in close contact with some legends of our country as ustad Vismadev Bhattacharya happened to be our next door neighbour and many well known figures used to visit him . Even now I can remember ustad salamat Ali khan , ustad vilayet khan, Radhakanto Nandi, sitting in the portico of our famous neighbour's house. Another thing that shaped my musical taste was concerts that were held almost regularly in my vicinity. Gradually I grew up , completed my academic career and had been bank rolled eventually and my journey continues with physical media ( vinyls, cassettes, CDs) until I get to know about Bluetooth speakers. Today I also use it along side my physical media. I tried to love some other genres like western music from apart being an ardent devotee of Indian classical, Rabindrasangeet, Bollywood oldies but honestly I can't proceed much with it. Language is not a problem with me as I am an humble student of the Queen's language yet I can't take western by heart except some artists or albums and those are microscopic. I am happy with the genres that have been with me for about 49 years.
Regards
 

DB1989

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@DB1989 your thoughts, if you please. :)
Ha ha... not that much of a headbanger...

but I've always discovered music through people. Makes the entire process unforced... I seldom go through suggestions of playlists/songs. i find myself listening too critically trying to figure out what makes the song a great suggestion rather than just letting my foot tap to it. And then there are people who are passionate about their music and listening to it alongwith them become story telling sessions. One such instance during my teens was when i was introduced to Dire Straits and Pink Floyd by a family friend who was putting up at my place for a couple of months. Though i'd heard them earlier, their music had never struck a chord with me till his narration about how the songs came to be and his take on the artists really piqued my interest and i daresay i hold certain dire straits and pink floyd tracks dearer than most.

A few years down the line just as i had graduated, i was a complete metalhead and i simply didn't get house and electronica. Got into law college and it was an hour's drive . A friend used to offer me a ride and he was into the said genres. Need I say more? :p

Now back at You!
 
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sbg

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1. Did any of you have similar journeys? What helped you expand your taste?

2. Is it just me or do you all have such low hit rate for liking new songs (5/100)?

3. Should I just give up and stay within my defined boundaries (existing taste) ?
1. nothing in particular - fortunate to be listening to Telugu,Hindi,Tamil and English at early stage. so , bollywood's Masala, Rock/pop/Dance is in my list.
To give a perspective on my taste, say Tamil songs ( I do not understand a word of it - but I have a collections running into 100s ) , there are times being ridiculed by friends saying , I had an awful taste!. Well , that does not deter me to a repeated run when I want to :) . So in this case lyrics do not matter. its more of Rhythm ,beats and the orchestration that pleases my senses. Few songs that I liked in Telugu( I can understand ), more often than not, I would search if this was originally or if available in Tamil , and end up listening to Tamil version - I have no explanation for this.
so, That is taste !
2. I think my ratio is 1 or 2 in 100 , that actually goes to my List. There are few CDs that I have not yet opened the seal (goes to repurposing or have used their boxes for my precious ones).
3. Never give up, Taste changes as you age or on your mood or at times, for the heck of it .
 

OM_2K19

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Trust on Mr.Jack, he will always guide you to the right direction. ;)

It was not Beatles, not Queens but Billy Joel who drove me to the world of HiFi.
 

fLUX

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Trust on Mr.Jack, he will always guide you to the right direction. ;)

It was not Beatles, not Queens but Billy Joel who drove me to the world of HiFi.

Piano Man just hits the right place, his voice also is amazing to listen to. Got introduced to Billy Joel when they first sung few verses of his song in a scene in the TV Series "Castle" & I searched it online
 

arj

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Hello
Msankadi
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have a similar journey as yours. I was born in a Bengali middle class family in a village atleast 70 Kms away from Kolkata. In my childhood I had a Philips valve set radio and an HMV FIESTA record player with some LPs and EPs. Then Bollywood was strictly prohibited in my house( do not know why). However my journey as a listener started with regular radio programmes and occasional vinyl spinning. Along side these I had a chance to come in close contact with some legends of our country as ustad Vismadev Bhattacharya happened to be our next door neighbour and many well known figures used to visit him . Even now I can remember ustad salamat Ali khan , ustad vilayet khan, Radhakanto Nandi, sitting in the portico of our famous neighbour's house. Another thing that shaped my musical taste was concerts that were held almost regularly in my vicinity. Gradually I grew up , completed my academic career and had been bank rolled eventually and my journey continues with physical media ( vinyls, cassettes, CDs) until I get to know about Bluetooth speakers. Today I also use it along side my physical media. I tried to love some other genres like western music from apart being an ardent devotee of Indian classical, Rabindrasangeet, Bollywood oldies but honestly I can't proceed much with it. Language is not a problem with me as I am an humble student of the Queen's language yet I can't take western by heart except some artists or albums and those are microscopic. I am happy with the genres that have been with me for about 49 years.
Regards
loved this @Bhaskar Jyoti Talapatra and you too @SachinChavan

My family was not too much into music other than chitrahaar and my explorations were limited to radio programs..other than that had a mono hitachi cassette deck to play cassettes mostly old hindi and pop on radio. My exposure to stereo and rock was only during engg at my uncles place and who had a technics RP... and of course friends who really knew Rock.

CDs came up much much later and still limited to hindi and rock. only in 2000's while in singapore did I learn about Jazz some western classical and much later into other genres.

Rediscovered my love for old hindi only when I rediscovered LPs as I could never come to terms with CD recordings which (IMHO) really suck for these..
 
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OM_2K19

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Piano Man just hits the right place, his voice also is amazing to listen to. Got introduced to Billy Joel when they first sung few verses of his song in a scene in the TV Series "Castle" & I searched it online
I'll be lying if I don't accept that it was "Summer of 69" that introduced me to western music.
 
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