A long time ago someone asked me to describe my music preferences. The best word I could come up with was ‘eclectic’, meaning; “deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.” That pretty much sums up my preferences in a nutshell.
I mean, for someone who likes country & western, but not necessarily country music that’s come out in the last 10 years or so, more of the 20th century variety. Other forms of music that appeal to me are ones like: folk, Irish, bagpipe music, Calliope music, contemporary, classical, and even yes, there are some operas I enjoy listening to. Like many, I might not always understand the libretto given that they’re usually in a foreign language (like Italian), but it doesn’t make me like it any less.
Even though I consider myself an atheist (at one time I believed I was agnostic, but after taking a long hard look at what an agnostic was, and what an atheist really is, I changed my view to being a confirmed atheist) I grew up in a religious family. I was baptized and confirmed into the Dutch Reformed Church where I grew up, and only started having serious questions about the whole religion thing when my parents began to suffer greatly from two separate issues (alcoholism and Alzheimer’s) which really brought the whole issue home to me. I’m only relating this because I used to sing in church choir (tenor/baritone) and still very much enjoy religious music. I don’t see a problem in liking the music, just because it comes from a religious bent. It’s still good music, regardless of the message attached.
I’ve always been musically inclined. I played trumpet and cornet in grade school and high school, sang in the choir both in middle and high school (as well as participated in a barbershop quartet in high school). Come college, I sang both in the main choir as well as the ‘select’ choir that one had to audition for. I’ve participated in concerts at West Point as well as Annapolis, traveled to West Germany, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, Washington DC, toured Florida and even sang at Walt Disney World, having seen the subterranean tunnels underneath the park where performers come and go in order to get to their assigned places. Certainly one instrument that I’d love to learn to play is the banjo, but unfortunately I have an issue with my hands, but my inability to be able to turn my hands palm up prevents me from being able to properly ‘fret’ chords on a banjo’s neck. I’ve tried many times to make it work, but I just can’t turn my wrists enough to get my fingers in the right places comfortably. At present I own two banjos that I can’t play, but I can’t bear to part with them either. Though in the future I probably need to. Give them good homes, where they can participate and be able to play good music.
Even though I might listen to the occasional heavy metal tome (while I was still in high school, a classmate of mine had an affinity for Guns & Roses and I actually for a while listened to a good deal of their music, but besides ‘Paradise City’ & ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ I wasn’t overly enamored or sold on it) for the most part, I would say more modern music is sort of lost on me. Yes, I listened to Vanilla Ice, and some rap music has a nice beat to it, but I definitely am not a fan of most of what’s out there. Boy bands? Eh, never really bothered. Same goes for grunge. I’m sure artists like Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse et al were amazing, but none of their stuff really got to me. Billy Joel though…or Gordon Lightfoot. Amazing. And don’t get me started on the Bellamy Brothers.
And just to give you a chuckle, I even liked Hooked on Classics. Go figure.