Why Do We Listen to New Music?

Why do we even listen to new music anymore? Most people have all the songs they could ever need by the time they turn 30. Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube can whisk us back to the gates and gables of our youth when life was simpler. Why leap off a cliff hoping you’ll be rescued by your new favorite album on the way down when you can lay supine on the terra firma of your “Summer Rewind” playlist? Not just in times of great stress, but for all times, I genuinely ask: Why spend time on something you might not like? More here.

A very good article.

9 thoughts on “Why Do We Listen to New Music?

  1. I find this article really curious, and I think there is so much more that needs to be discussed around it. It doesn’t take into account the lyrics of the music or the instrumentation or tone. Also the purpose of the music to the listener should be considered. All those things are part of whether new music appeals to a person. And to me there is so much more than those points. We should talk.

    1. I’m trying to write a series of thoughts about this because it’s very near to my being as a musician. I’ve written about it many times before. To determine why we might like new music has to do with why we listen to music in the first place.

  2. Why listen to new music? To expand the mind, be entertained, and learn something new. Even if that something new is that you don’t like something. It’s the same as reading a new novel or watching a new movie or TV show. Although I would argue that music gets closer to the spirit than the others.

    1. Closer to the spirit and I wonder how much replay-ability plays a part. You rarely read a book twice or watch a film multiple times, but great music gets played over and over again. It’s a clash between wanting to find more great music while replaying what you already love.

  3. There’s something very 2008-ish (when iPods were around, and then when the Shazam app released) about the way I acquire new music. I don’t like robot DJ’d playlists, and prefer to find music via happenstance (my tastes are rather pop-y, and I find commercials and end credits to be fruitful places to find stuff I live) And then I try to listen to the first 5-10 songs on main playlist daily, which is always sorted new music first, so I kind of gain a familiarity with it before it disappears into the realm of 3000-song shuffle.

    I sometimes think that an expert pop music categorizer could easily isolate a few principles in common with the music I like, even though it spans genres; in general always w/ the funk tinged rhythm and something cooler than “bass drum on 1 and 3” (but often on the 1 – see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHE6hZU72A4 )

  4. Many people listen to music while they do other things. Unfortunately, I can’t. Either I get involved in the music and don’t get done what I was originally trying to do, or the music gets shut out. I do listen when I’m driving because that’s pretty automatic.

    That’s why I enjoy Tom’s concerts. That’s my time to listen to the music. I’d say that about 50% is new to me and I haven’t heard anything that I wouldn’t listen to again. And I’ve added many songs to my favourites that I could listen to over and over.

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