What Impact Does Socioeconomics and Geographic Exposure Have on Musical Preference?

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Reana Brethen

What impact does socioeconomics and geographic exposure have on musical preference?

Music is derived from person’s roots and their history of said parties. Music evolves at the same fast paced rate as society and is typically influenced from previous genres. Music in specific geographical locations and socioeconomic environments are mostly created based on surrounding issues and hardships that face the parties involved. Many factors effect what musical preferences people enjoy such as ethnicity, background, the areas they reside within and basic income.

There is a wide variety in types of music in different geographical locations. For instance, African music has had a long journey. The beat of the music that tribes created travelled with the Africans when sailing over to America. Eventually, reggae evolved in the Caribbean. In later years, African Americans started singing revolutionized versions of their previous music (Bebey 83). Using the beats of their ancestors, they eventually created gospel, blues, jazz, and etcetera. Even these genres would later branch off and evolve into more contemporary genres such as hip hop and rock n’ roll. (Bebey)

Other cultures also have their own music which have also evolved through time. The change seen in music can be attributed to the surrounding influences based on the creator’s musical preferences mixed with the influences of their socioeconomics environment as well as their geographical location.

An individual growing up in a home with no support of a guardian and they must learn to be independent and they use music as an outlet due to the lack of no one to confide in. On the other hand, an individual who grows up in a stable home where they receive attention and may learn to be independent over time may use music to express themselves rather than the individual who uses music as an outlet. These two examples are composed of completely different surroundings of how music preference can be formed. From these two types of examples, one may develop an idea of which social class those persons may reside in. In the United States, people have created stereotypes for the social classes which exist within the country.

In the United States, there are three major social classes: lower, middle and upper. The lower class has little education and the individuals live in poverty. Many associate this class to listen to rap, heavy metal and country. Whether it is a viable part in what musical genres people are involved with, they listen to music and the lyrics which express what their feelings are towards life. A stereo-type for people who work in the lower class are listening to various genres that express the anger that can be created through poor living conditions and unrewarding hard work. Rap and metal are two genres that are known to portray anger well. Some African American neighborhoods, that are considered the government’s property, have more rap music than any other area. Another example resides within the prominent whites who live in trailer parks. For these low income workers, they are considered to listen to heavy metal or country (Emmison 217). The music can be used as an escape from life and can radically change the mood of an individual. Music is also easily accessible and can be created with no basic formula. Music can be shaped and changed at ones will. Compositions of music can also be used to temporarily escape negative situations and channel energy and emotions. Whether that just be a part of their culture or whether it be something to do with their low income and their moods. This is one reason it is believed that some of the most talented musicians have troubled backgrounds. (Emmison)

The middle class is considered to be eclectic. They listen to all types of music which includes rap, punk, country, electronic, pop, gospel, hip hop, blues, jazz, indie-rock, dubstep etcetera (Borthwick 156). This may be due...
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