Music, personality, and spirit
0 comment Friday, July 11, 2014 |
From the 'obvious' department, this story from the BBC about how personality and musical tastes are connected.
This seems so self-evident to me that it should not have taken a scientific study to come to this conclusion. But then many scientific studies in the realm of human behavior seem to be establishing what common sense and observation already tell us. The study apparently had quite a large sampling of people from around the world, and according to the article,
The research, which was carried out by Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University, is said to be the largest such study ever undertaken.
It suggested classical music fans were shy, while heavy metal aficionados were gentle and at ease with themselves.
Professor North described the research as "significant" and "surprising".
What does your musical taste say about you?
He said: "We have always suspected a link between music taste and personality. This is the first time that we've been able to look at it in real detail. No-one has ever done this on this scale before."
Prof North said the research could have many uses in marketing, adding: "If you know a person's music preference you can tell what kind of person they are, who to sell to.''
According to one surprising finding, heavy metal fans and classical music fans are similar in that they are ''creative and at ease, but not outgoing.''
Interestingly, to me, those two musical genres, though diametrically opposed in some ways, have the common factor of being styles of music that basically only White people like. Sure, there are classical music fans in Asia and elsewhere, but especially in the West, if you go to a concert of either classical or metal music, the audience is likely to be preponderantly White, if not all white.
In fact I would venture to say that many nonwhites, beyond being simply indifferent to those musical styles, express open antipathy to each of those musical genres, just as they do towards country music.
If you scroll down on the page linked above, you will notice that the genres of blues, rap, jazz, 'chart-pop' and soul all have fans who have ''high self-esteem." But these are all musical genres pioneered by blacks (although some would dispute that, in the case of jazz) and dominated by blacks or black influences now. And although rap is now embraced by the brainwashed young of all races, it is still considered a black musical form. Yet we hear the constant suggestion that blacks have 'low self-esteem' because of racism whereas in fact studies seem to show just the opposite:
Low self-esteem among blacks has been thought by generations of parents, educators and researchers to lie at the root of an assortment of problems from academic underachievement to crime.
But there is mounting evidence to the contrary.
''After reanalyzing data from 261 studies in which a half-million participants had their self-worth assessed, Bernadette Gray-Little, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, concluded that black youth exhibited self-esteem that was at least as healthy as that of their white counterparts.
"For a long time, I think, the assumption has been made by others, and sometimes blacks themselves, that self-esteem will go along with the way society views you," Gray-Little said. "Our belief is that self-esteem is more personally based than that. You do not believe you are magnificent or miserable because of social status."
This is why many criminals have been found to have high--and often inflated-- self-esteem, while many overachievers are dogged by a sense of worthlessness, she said.''
Interestingly, in the study results cited in the BBC article, the fans with low self-esteem were those who prefer 'indie music', rock, and heavy metal. It doesn't exactly fit the stereotype, does it? And all those styles of music are predominantly White styles.
Not surprisingly to me, country music fans are said to be hardworking and outgoing. No mention is made of 'self-esteem' there.
The study, by the way, does not deal with those people who have eclectic musical tastes, and I think there are many such people, especially as we live in an increasingly blended society. Actually my own tastes are somewhat eclectic, though I have very definite tastes, and very pronounced likes and dislikes. Some genres I like less than others. Still, I think almost everybody has a favorite type of music, the music that you just couldn't do without, or the music that moves or touches you on the deepest level. For me, this is traditional music, old-time music. The rest, I can enjoy on shallower levels, but it does not affect me in the same way.
Also interesting to me is that the study did not deal with the genre of folk music, although there is a considerable group of people who are devoted to folk music in general, or to various types of folk music.
On the subject of folk music and its aficionados, the Mudcat Forum, which is a folk music forum, had a thread discussing the BBC article regarding the study here wherein it was noted that the folk genre was omitted from the study. The original poster of the thread asks what are the defining character traits of folkies?
One response says that most folkies are politically left-leaning, which is certainly the popular image of folk/traditional musicians. It also fits my own personal experience.
Another commenter says:
I think Folk fans have a sense of tradition and a link to the past more than other fans for other forms of music. Most Folk fans know more about history and have an interest in history the other styles. I know that was my first connection with it. Folk musicians have a more indiviualistic [sic] against the grain mentality. I mean c'mon we are not going to be in the top 40. We are against everything mainstream and don't relly care what is going on or what kind of trend is going on in the mainstream. We do what we love and are willing to put up with low crowds, unruly crowds, criticism galore for not even attempting to cater to the general concept of modern popular music. I have said it before and I will say it again. Folk musicians are a rebellious breed. We do what we want and don't really care what the expectations and current musical trends the mainstream music scene is having at the time.''
I agree with the first sentence especially; most folk musicians or fans have a sense of tradition and an interest in the past, and are not likely to be caught up in what is 'trendy' at any given moment.
In that sense, I love folk musicians and fans, although they are unfortunately prone to be dogmatic lefties on subjects political.
I have often wondered, though, how musicians who seem to care about preserving the cultural traditions of their people as many folk musicians and fans do, can also be in favor of political and cultural leftism, which, if given its way, would obliterate all these distinctive traditions in favor of a multicultural, third-worldized stew.
And it is not just American folk or traditional music types who have this attitude.
Recently on this blog I posted a music video in which Alan Stivell and other Breton and Irish musicians performed a song called Borders of Salt. I love the song, and the message, and I admire Stivell's music very much. One would think that his commitment to his Breton identity would mean that he might be something of a Breton nationalist, and apparently he is -- but at the same time, he is quite the leftist multiculturalist, from all appearances.
He spent his childhood in Paris, absorbing the music of the city's many different populations from across France, Algeria, Morocco and elsewhere.
In the 1990s, he recorded with Bush, as well as French singer Laurent Voulzy, Irish traditional performer Shane MacGowan and Senegalese singer Doudou N'Diaye Rose. The album was Again, and it became very popular in France, the beginning of a Celtic new wave. His records in the late 1990s contained more pronounced rock elements, and he performed at a rock festival called Transmusicales in Rennes. He continued working with a variety of musicians, inviting Paddy Moloney (of The Chieftains), Jim Kerr (of Simple Minds), Khaled and Youssou N'Dour to be in his very international " 1 Douar / 1 Earth " album .''
There you are: 'one earth.' This is the typical political view of many folk/traditional musicians. I wonder what will happen to Breton music and culture in an Islamized France, or under some kind of one-world supranational government? Leftists never seem to think these things through.
Maybe the answer is that most musicians of whatever genre are not thinking, practical types, but feeling, emotion-driven types. And much as folk music fans and musicians like to think themselves 'rebels' and nonconformists, they are very conformist when it comes to the reigning PC orthodoxies of the day.
I don't know why so many people fail to understand that our musical traditions, like the rest of our cultural traditions, are fragile in today's world, which tends to pave over all the more traditional styles with the pop culture trends of the day, which after all are ephemeral and shallow. And which today, are very anti-White in tendency.
And when our people are blended away or dispersed and dispossessed, our musical traditions will go with us into oblivion; all that will be left then is these manufactured musical trends which have no meaning and no roots in our culture, and which these days are not even our own music, arising from our people. They are all alien in origin.
I suppose I sensed the threat to the musical traditions of the West about 18 or so years ago, when one of my favorite Irish/Celtic groups began to introduce some kind of African drumming into their performances. At the time I was still politically liberal but I knew it bothered me; I sensed that something was being lost. I have always been something of a purist where traditional music is concerned; I like my flavors to be pure and true. You can't adulterate things willy-nilly without risking the destruction of the thing you are supposedly 'improving.'
I posted a couple of years ago about the trend toward eclecticism in bluegrass, what with jazz influences and other such intrusions. Once you jazz it up, it ceases to be what it is, and becomes some kind of hybrid with no pedigree.
There's a need for preserving distinctions in all areas of life. And it all ties together: music is not this disembodied thing; it arises from a particular time and place, and is the expression, at least originally, of not only the individual 'personalities' of the people who make it and those who enjoy it, but of the very soul of the people to which they belong. If you sever the music from its origins, it loses all its meaning and authenticity. It becomes a soulless thing.

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