Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Changing Tastes

What factors determine our sense of artistic taste?
Why do we prefer one style of music and not another? What makes an art work appealing to one person and not to someone else?

Why are some people more rigid than others in their appreciation (or not) of certain art forms?

I can see through my own life that tastes can change and develop significantly over the years. Musical styles that I once disliked have grown on me, and others that I once liked now make me cringe.

For example, I no longer consider that the Partridge Family are the pinnacle of musical excellence.

No matter how much my taste has changed, nostalgia remains. I still have some affection for 70s glam rock - but not for the same reason that attracted me to it back then. In fact I'm not sure WHY it appealed to me in my teens. I guess that brings things back to my original question - what determines what we like?

Are our tastes developed gradually? Do we progress along a particular route a small step at a time? Are they formed like stalagmites and stalactites in a limestone cave - where exposure to something, an addition to our experience, slowly builds up until it becomes a newly developed obsession?

Or is there a right place, a right time and a right mood - where several factors all swing together in alignment to make something become suddenly relevant and meaningful?

My own musical "progression" (as far as I can remember)

Pre-teens (60s pop)
The Beatles
The Dave Clark Five

Early Teens (the quantum leap)
The Partridge Family
Deep Purple

Mid - Late Teens (Glam Rock)
Suzi Quatro
The Sweet
Kate Bush

Late Teens - Late Twenties (First Christian era)
Larry Norman
Barry McGuire

Late Twenties -Late Thirties (The Irish and folk-punk, traditional period)
The Pogues
Roaring Jack
The Men They Couldn't Hang
The Levellers
Eliza Carthy
Kate Rusby
Nancy Kerr

Late Thirties to Late Forties (Country music)
Chely Wright
Lorrie Morgan
Suzi Bogguss
Lee Kernaghan
Adam Brand
Melinda Schneider
Sara Storer

Late Forties -part 2 (Second Christian era)
Matt Redman
Rebbeca St James
Soul Survivor

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