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Thread: Religion, politics, and musical taste

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    Senior Member aleazk's Avatar
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    Default Religion, politics, and musical taste

    Is there any relation between the political/religious ideas/beliefs of a person and his/er musical taste?.

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    I suppose there are those like that, but it hasn't affected mine. My CD shelf is full of composers, musicians, and compositions I disagree with. Isn't art supposed to confront you with things you wouldn't think of on your own?

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    Avant-garde/modernism is most likely to attract left-wing/the centre. And yes, Stravinsky seems to have been an exception, Stockhausen somewhat off conventional categorizing, and senior years often bring increased scepticism towards any ideals.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Oct-03-2013 at 14:39.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Shucks yes. Hymns are a bigger deal with Christian religionists, especially the lyrics. Not sure about drinking songs.
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    I think with the average person, the group they hung around with in high school has the most effect on their musical taste.

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    In the broad scheme of things, I doubt it, though I also suspect that people who are interested in the avant-garde of their day might be less inclined to be socially conservative. But that's just a suspicion; are there facts to support it?

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    What a person likes to listen to is related to personality & individual tastes, which are strongly related to one's worldview, so there's bound to be a connection.

    For example, I like Catholic sacred music, and I am a Catholic convert; I believe in individualism & simplicity, so I like Copland's Variations on a Shaker Hymn; I like order, in behaviour & society, and I love baroque music; I have always been interested in mysticism, which has led me to study Eastern religions, and I am drawn to oriental music.....
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-03-2013 at 15:12.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aleazk View Post
    Is there any relation between the political/religious ideas/beliefs of a person and his/er musical taste?.
    Oh yes,religious people like tons of hymns.
    Fools talk because they have to say something, wise men talk because they have something to say.

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    I think there can be. Although I think religion is a bit of a red herring. Within the Catholic church, for example, there does seem to be a strong link between "socially aware" movements and a modernist approach to music in the liturgy - folk songs and guitars, whereas a more traditional approach to social issues is often more associated with a more old-fashioned approach to music in the liturgy - organ music, motets, choir anthems and plain chant.

    Quite where Taizé fits into this, I know not. It seems to cover all the bases.

    There is the Protestant view that hymn singing is "wrong" and that one should concentrate mainly on psalms and other quotations from the Bible sung a cappella - typical examples are the Gaelic psalms of the Hebrides and the dissenters who sang psalms to hornpipes. There are also those Protestants who accept the use of instrumental music in the liturgy and also hymn singing. The wiki article on Hymns is useful on this. Depending on which side you are, this must influence your attitude to music irrespective of your political views.

    Quite how this relates to classical music I don't quite know. I do know that the pianist for the folk mass does children's musical theatre and modern tunes, whereas the organist for the traditional mass is quite happy to plug all the classical music activities going on in town.

    In some ways, it is difficult to say what comes first, one's attitude to music, one's overall personality, one's politics or one's attitudes to religion and the way you see religion informing your life. it was quite funny to see on Pope Francis loves opera some of the comments, as if being pope meant he was no longer a human being.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joen_cph View Post
    Avant-garde/modernism is most likely to attract left-wing/the centre. And yes, Stravinsky seems to have been an exception, Stockhausen somewhat off conventional categorizing, and senior years often bring increased scepticism towards any ideals.
    Stravinsky, Messiaen, the entire Second Viennese School....

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    All you need to refute any association that religion has any influence on people's preference of listening is to find one religious listener that thinks that Felix Mendelssohn is the greatest composer that ever lived, and find another person who is totally secular that holds the same. Once two different peoples like the same thing, its because they actually like it for what it is, without any other considerations.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musician View Post
    All you need to refute any association that religion has any influence on people's preference of listening is to find one religious listener that thinks that Felix Mendelssohn is the greatest composer that ever lived, and find another person who is totally secular that holds the same. Once two different peoples like the same thing, its because they actually like it for what it is, without any other considerations.
    So... you assert the truth of "One species, one mind"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    So... you assert the truth of "One species, one mind"?
    Don't know what you mean...

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    Quote Originally Posted by aleazk View Post
    Is there any relation between the political/religious ideas/beliefs of a person and his/er musical taste?.
    I think that is not my case. I'm not into any kind of political '-ism' and much less, religious. I have never been entangled with such things. Also, no views about the world. As well, I don't know which elements make a 'musical taste'. What happens if somebody asks for my musical taste....?

    Now, does liking Pärt's music tell people that I am religious.... No.

    Does listening Gurdjieff's 'Sacred Hymns' tell people that I tend to be mystical... No.

    Does liking Shostakovich tell people I embrace political issues... No way.

    Does listening to Wagner tell people I embrace racial* or foundational archetypal [stereotype?] idealizations mankind needs... No.

    Does liking Mahler's Second tell people I hold afterlife or resurrection believes... No.

    Similarly, I love Mozart's masses and it is fascinating that they are not solemn, finding in them certain irreverence... and that is great.

    *Racial is used here in its ethnic/anthropological concept.
    Last edited by Ondine; Oct-03-2013 at 20:24.
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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musician View Post
    Don't know what you mean...
    One person of each persuasion is your requirement. Not statistically significant.
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