Music has been around for hundreds of years, and along with it have always come music lovers. Throughout the years the world has seen music evolve from a form of religious celebration and having a ceremonial role, to becoming a form of entertainment and art to what it is today: a backbone of popular culture and even lifestyle. Since the first piece of music was ever played, people have responded in a variety of different ways, and generally speaking music fans can fall into one of four categories. Some genuinely feel passionately about it, and some only pretend to feel this way. Some people get too involved with it, while some people just don’t care. These different types of music listeners are all fairly easily to recognize; they all have specific characteristics. Whether someone is an indifferent, fake, “hardcore”, or genuine music lover, it is always quite simple to single them out.
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Generally, some form is music strikes a cord in everybody. However there are exceptions where a person’s life, environment, or personal opinion has reared them in such a way that they do not like any particular type of music. These are the “indifferent” music lovers, the ones who don’t own any CD’s or records; they just skim through the radio and listen to whatever is on. Occasionally they may specifically enjoy a certain song, but this occurrence is rare. Maybe they were raised on a remote farm or grew up in the jungle, but in any case indifferent music lovers are generally a small minority, mostly middle-aged, childless adults who are extremely work-oriented and could care less for popular culture and music as entertainment.
Worse than the music lover that is neither “here nor there” is the fake one. These people manage to make their way into every concert, pretending to be “number one fans” when they are really number one phonies. Fake music lovers are the ones who’s favorite band conveniently changes depending on who they are with: one minute they love popstars N*Sync, the next minute Bach, and the next rapper Eminem. They fake their way to having a “cool” persona, but are essentially lying to themselves as well as offending true music lovers who appreciate the sacredness of music as an art. It is apparent that fake, or “wannabe” music lovers as so eloquently named by the Spice Girls, have security issues with their taste as well as themselves, not to mention having a considerable amount of time on their hands.
The opposites of phony music lovers are the hardcore, over-the-top ones such as “ravers”, “goths”, and “teenyboppers”. These mainstream characters make the music they listen to their lives, at times developing a whole lifestyle around the style they prefer. They tattoo the name of their favorite singer on their lower backs, or in the case of the teenybopper scribble it all over their faces with magic marker. This extreme can even become unhealthy when a person lives and breathes a certain singer or band. The “hardcore” fan phenomenon is relatively new to the music scene having developed in the last few decades, but nonetheless is a growing craze. Hardcore music fans have the right idea, but wouldn’t be out of line if they turned down the volume a little.
Finally, and most importantly is the genuine music lover. These people know where they stand have no problem keeping their backs straight as they do. A genuine music lover isn’t afraid to state that s/he loves pop, metal, country, rap, and classical music, as long as s/he sincerely does. These music lovers attend many concerts, whether they fit in with the majority of the crowd or not. They love their music for all different reasons and stay true to themselves no matter what. Diverse interests are what the music scene is all about, and these types of music lovers listen with pride.
Weighing all of these categories of music listeners, likers, and lovers, it is clear that music greatly affects who people are and how society develops. Music can influence trends, jump start modern lifestyles and bring two people together. Today, musical icons are one of the most influential groups of people around. Television stations have adapted to this idea too, hence the new brand of “music shows” such as “Becoming”, “Gonna Meet a Rock Star”, “FanClub”, and “American Idol”. Not only has the television business switched their focus to music fans, but movies have as well. Recently there have been a countless number of musicians and singers who have conquered the movie industry thanks to their loyal fans’ interest and dollars. Music fans, in all their diversity, are a huge percent of the entertainment industry’s consumer population and continue to grow in size and strength. Most people would agree that the genuine music lover is the best out of the bunch, but nevertheless the hardcore, fake, and indifferent ones will always sustain.
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