But, moreover, I want to digress a little about the way we develop our musical preferences. This field of knowledge also concerns musicology.
Early musical influences and formative years
First of all, something inherently responsible for the development of our musical preferences are related to the ambient where we grow up, especially since early infancy. I would like to share some fragments of my personal experience, if that’s all right with you. My father was a non-professional musician from his early adulthood, having played in some bands throughout his life. In my childhood – early eighties –, he was the only major source of musical reference I had. His favorite band was The Beatles, so I was surrounded from the beginning by British rock, getting acquainted with vinyl albums, something that later became a passion. Some years ago, he gave to me all his vinyl records, a modest collection that includes Beatles, David Bowie and George Harrison, to name just a few. There are some exceedingly precious and marvelous rarities in the collection he gave me, be sure about that.
A few years later – after my mother and father divorced –, in late eighties to early nineties, my mom also became an influence in my musical preferences. As a consequence of our close relationship – we always lived together –, I developed a personal taste for one of her favorite musical groups, the Norwegian band A-ha. This passion was by far greater than The Beatles. Over the years, the passion just grew, to the point that I have almost the entire discography of the band, except for their latest albums. I have CD’s, DVD’s and one vinyl album of A-ha, a band that became a sensational success in my country, Brazil, in the eighties. In 1991, A-ha won a Guinness World Record, when 198.000 people attended a concert they performed in Estádio do Maracanã, a football stadium in Rio de Janeiro. In 2002, my mother and I went to an A-ha concert in the city of Porto Alegre, during A-ha’s tour of their album Lifelines, one of my favorites. In the mid or late nineties, by my mother’s influence, I also started to like British duo Tears for Fears.
The general cultural content of a person may stay intact; one may never be too naturally eclectic, for example, a lover of gospel music that is also someone who loves jazz, classical music, funk and trash metal – though some people have a degree of eclecticism superior to others. So, while our cultural identity may stay relatively homogeneous, our musical preferences can change, probably several times, over the course of life. All of us eventually get bored of certain albums, songs and bands, and proceed discovering new musical groups, albums and genres of music, expanding our personal sound experience.
Several years ago, when I was working in the night shift of a company – in the warehouse department –, I discovered a radio station, coincidentally located in my city, where, beginning in a certain hour, they played only the type of music similar to the ones featured in the mixes below. At dawn, beginning at 11 pm or midnight, there were no commercial breaks. In the calmer nights, I could listen to these marvelous genre of music peacefully, especially in the one-hour interval I had for dinner.