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  • Chris Anderson

Keeping An Open Mind With Music

We all have our favourite genres, artistes, bands, composers, etc. We probably also have genres, artistes, bands, and composers we don’t like. However , I feel that it is important to keep an open mind with music. It’s a wonderful approach allowing you to explore and appreciate a diverse range of genres, artistes, bands, composers, etc. Here’s why…

  • Discovering New Music: An open mind enables you to discover new and unique music that you might have never encountered otherwise. There's a vast world of music out there, and being open to exploring different genres can lead to some amazing discoveries.

  • Cultural Appreciation: Music is deeply intertwined with culture, and exploring various musical styles can help you gain a better understanding and appreciation of different cultures and traditions.

  • Expanding Creativity: Listening to diverse music can inspire your creativity. It can introduce you to new rhythms, melodies, and instruments, which may influence your own artistic endeavours, whether you're a musician or not.

  • Breaking Prejudices: An open mind challenges stereotypes and prejudices that may be associated with certain music genres. It helps you form opinions based on personal experience rather than preconceived notions.

  • Emotional Connection: Different music genres evoke different emotions, and having an open mind allows you to connect with a wider range of feelings through music.

  • Understanding Context: Music often reflects the time and place it was created. By exploring various genres, you can better understand the historical, social, and political contexts that have shaped the music we hear today.

  • Fostering Empathy: Being open to music that might not immediately resonate with you can help you empathise with others who find meaning in those genres.

Tips for Keeping an Open Mind with Music:

  • Exploring Different Genres: Music encompasses an extensive array of genres, each with its unique characteristics, instruments, and cultural origins. For example:

    • Classical Music: Appreciate the complexity and depth of compositions by legendary composers like Beethoven, Bach, or Mozart.

    • Jazz: Immerse yourself in the improvisational brilliance of artists like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, or Ella Fitzgerald.

    • Hip-Hop: Discover the power of storytelling and rhythmic expression through hip-hop legends like Tupac Shakur, Nas, or Kendrick Lamar.

    • Country: Explore the heartfelt stories of country artists such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, or Willie Nelson.

    • Reggae: Embrace the laid-back vibes and social commentary of reggae icons like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, or Burning Spear.

    • Electronic Music: Experience the evolution of electronic music through artists like Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, Yello, or Aphex Twin.

  • Cultural Appreciation: Music is a rich tapestry woven with the threads of diverse cultures. By exploring music from different parts of the world, you can gain insight into the customs, traditions, and values of various societies. For instance:

    • Flamenco (Spain): Experience the passionate and rhythmic guitar-based music of Andalusia.

    • Bollywood (India): Get lost in the vibrant and colourful melodies featured in Hindi film music.

    • K-Pop (South Korea): Discover the catchy pop tunes and elaborate performances of Korean idol groups.

    • Samba (Brazil): Feel the infectious energy of Brazilian carnival with its rhythmic beats and lively dancing.

  • Music as a Form of Expression: Music serves as a powerful medium for artists to express their emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Keeping an open mind allows you to connect with the emotions conveyed through various musical styles, whether it's the melancholy of a blues song, the joy in an upbeat pop track, or the intensity of heavy metal.

  • Breaking Barriers: Music can transcend language barriers, fostering unity and understanding among people of different backgrounds. Embracing music from various genres can help dissolve prejudices and promote inclusivity.

  • Understanding Music History: Each genre has a unique history that reflects the social and cultural context of its time. Learning about the evolution of music can deepen your appreciation for its significance in shaping societies.

  • Music for Different Moods: Different genres cater to various moods and occasions. While classical music might be soothing for relaxation, high-energy electronic beats could be perfect for workouts or parties.

  • Mixing and Fusion: An open mind with music encourages the exploration of hybrid genres and fusion projects. Artists often combine elements from different styles to create fresh and innovative sounds.

  • Supporting Diverse Artists: Keeping an open mind with music means supporting artists from different backgrounds and giving them a platform to share their unique voices and perspectives.

Music is an ever-evolving art form, and embracing its diversity can be a deeply enriching and rewarding experience. Allow yourself the freedom to explore, appreciate, and enjoy the vast spectrum of music available to you. Music is a universal language that can connect people from all walks of life. By keeping an open mind, you open yourself up to a world of beautiful and diverse musical experiences. I like to “judge” the individual song or piece of music rather than the genres, artistes, bands, composers, etc.. That way I’m not dismissing or missing out on what could be a fantastic discovery.

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