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What's race got to do with it? Does your race determine your taste in music?

7 January 2021 11:24 AM
Tags:
Music
Twitter
Barack Obama
Race

Sparked by Barack Obama's recent 'favourite songs' list, John Maytham asks whether our musical preferences are determined by race.

Here's a question for you: What's your favorite type of music? Jazz, classical, hip-hop, country?

Here's another question for you: do you think your racial identity determines the type of music you like?

While looking at Barack Obama's recently tweeted favorite songs list John Maytham recently posed the question - 'what determines our musical taste?'

Reading Obama's list to his black colleague, Geroge, John noted: "He recognised most of the music which is recorded by black artists and he recognised none of the music recorded by white artists".

"Is George's taste different from mine because he's 30-plus years younger than I am? Is it because he grew up in a different cultural environment than the one I grew up in? Is it because because his skin is black and my skin is white?" asked John.

So just what does determine our musical taste?

John posed the question to Winifried Ludemaan, professor of musicology at Stellebosch University who explored the idea in his 2015 Conversation article.

My view is that music taste is determined by culture.

Winfried Ludemann, Professor of Musicology - Stellenbosch University

To me, culture is a set of behaviors that humans develop and have adopted in response to their various environments as they dispersed out of Africa over millenia.

Winfried Ludemann, Professor of Musicology - Stellenbosch University

A narrower interpretation would be that musical taste is a result of your parent culture, your peer group interaction, your religious orientation, factors like that.

Winfried Ludemann, Professor of Musicology - Stellenbosch University

How are our musical tastes determined? Listen to the full podcast below:




7 January 2021 11:24 AM
Tags:
Music
Twitter
Barack Obama
Race

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