Music Interview Report: "Martin" Martin Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

He has also learned to appreciate an even wider and more eclectic variety of music than even his mother enjoyed. But without an early musical foundation and exposure to music as a part of life, he does not think he would be nearly as adventurous. The pairing of certain musical styles against one another, like posh vs. common, classical vs. contemporary, and Mod vs. Rock, has more to do with personal, class-based and aesthetic self-definition, he felt, than the fact that one musical style is inherently superior to another musical style.

As he has grown older, Martin says that he listens more for personal taste, rather than to suit his tastes to a particular style because of personal self-definition. He attributes this to being more secure in his own identity. He says that he likes to listen to the music of his youth, although he also listens to a great deal of different forms of contemporary music. The one genre he has difficulty relating to, he says, was hip-hop. He says the sounds are unfamiliar to his ears, although he admits that as a young man, he enjoyed American rock and be-bop, which could be a precursor to some of the musical sounds of modern hip-hop.

Martin worked in various odd jobs in the United Kingdom, until he came to the United States in the early 1970s, and worked his way up in a corporation, going to school in an American university at night, and gradually gaining his degree. He married an American woman, and became further exposed to American culture and musical traditions through her experience, although he says she has proven resistance to some of the affection he has for classical music.

One substantial shift in Martin's musical tastes has been his appreciation of jazz music. Now, he and his wife often go to jazz clubs and jazz CDs make up a large portion of his collection. He still buys CDs, he notes, rather than downloads music from the Internet, which he attributes to habit and age. Without listening to jazz performance live, he notes, he thinks that jazz would not have become such an important part of his musical experience and empathy.

Martin no longer goes to church, except occasionally when visiting his parents back in the United Kingdom. British church music, like the anthems and hymns he used to sing has little part in his current musical experience, and he says that he does not keep up much with current British music. Another shift in his experience of musical material culture in our day and age is that he has developed a strong distaste for stage musicals, and would have to be dragged to go see a Broadway-type production, even though as a child he reveled in the spectacle. What Martin misses, though, is the sense of how music was such a collective and cohesive part of British culture, class rivalries aside, and that the arts play less of an important part in American cultural life, including music in performance.

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