Why aren’t our music tastes aging?

montWhile I was writing a recent post, I was flipping around through my music collection.  I’m in my middle 50’s so I have music in my collection from when I was a kid in the 60’s and 70’s.  But, and I’m not exactly sure why I’m a little surprised by this, I have a good many albums and songs that were released in just the last few years.  My collection spans decades and styles as well.  If you spin through the lists in my iPod, you’ll find everything from Mahler to Moby, Barenaked Ladies to Beethoven, The Beatles to The Bronsky Beat.  You’ll also find Adele, Justin Bieber, Linkin Park, Arctic Monkeys and even Kenny Chesney and A Thousand Heroes.  And while I’m not a huge fan of hip-hop, dubstep and and similar styles, I’ve even got a few cuts from those genres floating around on various storage media.

When I think of people older than me like, for example, my parents, I look at a set of musical tastes that seemed to stop evolving in the 60’s.  Even though my mom’s music collection contains some newer artists, they all sound like older types.  Her tastes never really progressed beyond the styles of her youth.

Why hasn’t that happened to us?  When I say “us” I mean the vast majority of friends and family that I know today – almost everyone I can think of who’s presently younger than about, oh, 60 or so, seems to listen to the same wide range of music as I do.  Is it that we’ve all been exposed to so much new music via the internet, radio airplay, friends, sharing, etc.?  The current way most of us at least sample music (’cause we all know people that still like to buy music on physical media – including me occasionally) digitally online does allow us to discover stuff that we might not have even considered while browsing albums at Tower Records.

I dunno.  With me, it probably just means I’m scatterbrained.

Or an extremely empathetic genius.  Yeah, that’s it…