Thursday, October 04, 2012

What Actually Drives Music Consumption

What Actually Drives Music Consumption by Chasson Gracie, musicthinktank.com

I'm a cognitive music listener, in that being a musician propels me to listen to music in an unconventional way--for instance, listening for the quality of the musical arrangement, or the specific chords being played, first. Why are there so few women who listen to music as I do? It could be summed up with two main reasons: one, that few women in pop / rock music pursue playing an instrument with the goal of mastering it (which explains the sad stereotype about women in music being "girl singers" who are clueless about music, and women being exploited in the business because of it), and two, that the industry itself primarily markets female artists to women, and so the female audience feels funny about listening to "music that their older brother listens to." It's a shame since so much of good music is performed and recorded by male musicians.

I would even add a third reason, that women hardly see women in bands that play male-dominated (requiring high level proficiency to play) genres of music such as jazz. Even in the world of vocalization, you can see this type of gender segregation, not always of a conscious making by the industry. Just as there are fewer salseras because of the complexity of the musical genre and its polyrhythms, few women grow up to pursue musical prowess in lieu of more feeling-based expression being the primary focus of making music.

It could also explain why I have few women friends who share my musical tastes.