Non-Musical Reasons to Enjoy Music

Most people don’t fall in love with certain kinds of music because of time signatures, good rhythm, or even particularly good melodies. There’s little element of music theory appreciation in most people’s love of music.

People love music because it takes memories, associations, feelings and puts them into a harmonious order. We love music of certain decades. We love the artists we grew up on. We love the music that reminds us of summer night fun with friends.

In any case, I think we love music for reasons unrelated to music itself. Here are the various non-musical reasons I’ve become fond of different genres of music (even ones I wouldn’t have expected to like):

Classic rock and hair metal – This music has attitude and is perfect for expressing attitude and confidence. I learned many of these songs from the movies, and so listening to them gives me a tie back to certain clear visuals of swagger.

Film scores – We love this music not only for its beauty but also because it reminds us of certain uplifting or gripping moments in stories we love.

Orchestral and classical music – This music reminds me of royalty and majesty, and it takes me back in time and into splendor.

Bluegrass music – This music used to remind me of the Appalachian mountains and my family’s trips to North Carolina. Then I started listening and fell in love.

80s pop/rock music – I used to hate 80s music, but I probably started to like it again after I became more comfortable with dancing. Other influences include Stranger Things (with its great 80s soundtrack).

Swing/big band music – I love history, and I love the early 20th century (especially the time around WWII). This music takes me back to that era and also provides an excellent soundtrack for dancing.

Neotraditional 90s/00s country music – I was raised on this music, so listening to it now takes me back in time to my youth going hunting with my Dad or working on my family’s farm.


James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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