For almost everybody, music is a shared love. Whether we enjoy listening to it occasionally or devote hours of our time to it, music is always a part of us. University is certainly no exception. Some play music, some consider themselves aficionados of certain genres, and some simply love dancing and singing along to their favourite tracks. One thing I’ve wondered about music at uni, however, is this. Do people who listen to music that isn’t the latest chart music feel like outcasts in musical discussions? In a time when young people place so much importance in being on trend, is it possible that music has gone the same way?
This is a slight follow on from an earlier article where I asked several students, who were fans of music released in their parents’ youth as opposed to theirs, whether or not they may have felt ostracised for listening to such sounds. The overwhelming answer was yes when they were in a public space such as a pub, bar or even nightclub. But no when they were with close friends who may or may not share the same musical taste.
It would seem from this that people are likely to be respectful in private but maybe would raise an eyebrow if they heard classic rock suddenly blaring out of the speakers at a nightclub. This is what I find interesting.
Certain environments around university lend themselves to simply playing the latest and most popular music in order to satisfy the people who will inevitably hear it. However, with so many different genres and so many different types of student at university, where would the harm be in playing more of a variety? It would seem to me that establishments are almost scared to play certain types of music for fear of being ridiculed by fans of modern chart-topping music. This is really surprising to me, as institutions such as bars and clubs pride themselves on being a place to have fun, let loose and enjoy yourself and yet feel scared about catering to a wider audience.
It is, of course, not just big venues which cause different genres of music to be subjugated around university. For such an accepting generation of people, I’m surprised that we are not doing more to accept different tastes in music and allowing individuals to enjoy their chosen likes more often. It seems we are scared to stray from the trend. For fear of being outcast ourselves perhaps. This once again is a disappointing thought for such an accepting and inclusive generation of people.
Power to unite
Overall I don’t feel like it is one of the most important problems in the world. There are of course so many ways that many of us feel included and accepted within our social circles and peer groups, which has always been a great part of attending university.
In spite of this, I still feel fans of different genres of music that don’t lie within the charts may deserve a little more care and attention in this department. After all, if there is one thing that has the power to unite us all, it’s music.