What It Really Means to Not Like Music

So, today I saw a question that asked GaG whether or not they would date someone who doesn't like music. This is a real thing. There's a name for it, and it affects a small portion of the human population, but that's not really important. Reading through the responses, I found that there were quite a few misconceptions about what this means, and so, as someone who does not care for music, I thought I would attempt the clear things up.

1. Not liking, and disliking are not the same thing.

This was one of the biggest misconceptions. That because I dislike music, I find it annoying, and wouldn't let you listen to it. Just because I don't listen to music doesn't mean I hate it. I don't care if you want to play it in the car, or when you're studying, or whatever. "Don't care" is in fact the perfect way to describe how I feel about music. You can play pretty much whatever you want, and for the most part, it sounds the same to me. This isn't to say that I can't tell the difference, but different types of music don't affect me differently. It's simply the equivalent of background noise; I'll tune it out, and just continue on with what I was doing.

2. Just because I don't listen to music doesn't mean I can't appreciate it.

I just appreciate it in a different way. It's the writing that matters, and not the feel behind the song, because for me, there is no feel. In the same way I can respect Ernest Hemingway's expert use of metaphor, I can appreciate a well written song, be it lyrically, or instrumentally. The songs that intrigue me are the ones that break the mold, with weird riffs, or clever word play. That said, if it's not something that could speak to me in poem or prose, it simply being music will not give it that edge that it does for other people.

3. Maybe I don't like music, but I can absolutely dislike it.

This generally has to do with specific cases, and it's not the sound of the music that does it. The social context of music has infinitely more to do with whether or not I dislike it than the sound of the music itself. I don't like country music, but that's not because I dislike the sound of it. Honestly, the twanginess of it is mildly interesting. The culture around it however, and the lyrics of the songs, I dislike, which means I prefer that people don't play this type of music while I'm present. The same goes for other genres, rap, blues, rock, two songs can be identical in every other way, but if one is eloquent, and the other crude, there is one that I will dislike.

4. Not liking music does not mean I'm boring.

I still experience the same range of emotions as everyone else, I simply do not react to one specific type of stimulus. I can be just as moved by the love story in a novel, or a character's death in a movie, as anyone else, I simply don't get those feelings from music notes without any language or inherent meaning behind them.

5. I do listen to music.

As I said above, to me, music can be similar to white noise. I'll occasionally play music while working, or playing games, but it's more to distract me slightly and to keep me from getting bored than anything else. Music is just generally something I don't think about. For the most part, it's either on, or it's not, and I barely notice. You'll likely find that the little music that I own seems strange when played in succession. I don't have a concept of songs that go together for the most part. You'll find Frank Sinatra in the same playlist as They Might Be Giants. These are songs that I find interesting. For me, there basically is no mood to them, so it doesn't matter that immediately after a love song is a song titled "When Will You Die?"

6. I can enjoy music based on association.

If you want me to like the same music you do, associate it with something positive. Some of the music I listen to the most is soundtracks from video games I played as a kid. There may not be emotion tied to the arbitrary musical notes, but the part of the brain that connects music to memory is just as strong in me as in anyone. "Hey, that's our song!" is something that I can appreciate just as much as you.

I hope this is helpful to those of you out there who couldn't wrap your head around this concept on your own. I know music means a lot to a lot of people, and this whole thing seems strange, but I promise you, I, and those like me, are just as human as you are.


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  • 10d

    Not liking music means being a fan of rap or electronic shit.

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  • 11d

    good one

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