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Cabbage-and-Kings

How to analyze one's music taste?

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I have become more interested in the topic of aesthetics after reading Aristotle's Poetics, and am now planning on reading Rand's The Romantic Manifesto. Naturally, I have also begun to wonder how I can apply what I am learning about the nature of aesthetics to my own life, and what my own aesthetic taste (particularly music taste) says about myself. In other words, how does one discover their "sense of life"? To give you an idea of my own music taste, I have always liked Brahms's and Prokofiev's music; there is something about their powerful melodies, lush orchestration, and subtle darkness in them that is appealing to me. In terms of "modern music", I have a liking for progressive metal and rock because of the cathartic effect that it has, but I still prefer romantic/classical music. Being a newbie here, I am curious to see what advice you all might have in terms of personal aesthetic analysis.

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I don't have a complete answer, but I think preference for a genre should just be taken out of this equation completely. The genre is a non-essential, sometimes even arbitrary, attribute of any given piece of music, and picking favorites just means you're closing yourself off to music you might like, that happens to be classified in a genre you don't favor.

Also, most modern "music" (including progressive rock, if by that you mean bands like Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull, possibly even Zeppelin) is a combination of music, poetry, visual art and performance art...not necessarily in that order. The poetry or the performance aspect of the art can sometimes be more important than the music itself. Some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century describe themselves as poets first.

Which might mean having to limit your analysis to instrumental pieces and songs in languages you don't understand, to take the lyrics out of the equation. And of course, most people barely listen to that kind of music, they actually value the poetry and the performance art the most, when they claim to be "music fans". I'm one of those people, 95+ percent of my playlist is songs, not instrumental pieces.

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