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Cultural Nostalgia - was Current Wedding Protocols
Old 08-06-2014, 08:41 AM   #1
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Cultural Nostalgia - was Current Wedding Protocols

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I completely agree about excessively loud music, at any event. When it comes to musical taste, it seems we are hard wired to prefer the music we grew up with:

Cultural nostalgia is a human experience - The Globe and Mail
I think that this warrants a thread of its own. I have seen this research summarized in several other places, as well. This certainly seems to be a common occurrence, but it is certainly not true in my case. I would love to see the research results so that I could understand the degree to which this is true and what might cause individual deviations.

A recent example - DW and I just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary and I created a playlist for the event, 71 tracks ranging from opera to Texas Swing to German pop music from the 30's to old standards, everything EXCEPT the music that I would have experienced growing up in a working class household in the late 60's and 70's. OK, maybe not entirely true, there were a couple of tunes released in that era, but they were in a style that was much older. The musical styles that I love, and there are many, are all things that I discovered after I was independent and able to explore more than was available in the mass media of the day (and today).

I joke that one of my fears is that I will become incapacitated and a well-meaning caregiver will decide that I can be comforted with the music of "my" youth. NO! NO! NO!

Anyone else have thoughts about this? Links to the original research paper?


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Old 08-06-2014, 08:57 AM   #2
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I still LOVE rock music from the 1970s (years when I was in college and in my first couple of jobs). My iPod is full of it (including everything Led Zeppelin ever recorded), although I have eclectic tastes and there are a lot of other genres, too.

What I find weird is that our local grocery store uses canned music that includes a lot of stuff from the 1970s. It's the softer rock (Pure Prairie League and Rod Stewart rather than The Who), but I'm sure someone with a fancy degree was paid to find out what makes us buy more and it's 1970s pop music.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:07 AM   #3
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I'm glad I was able to start a conversation!

For the past two years I have had Sirius XM in my car (I know, I know, wasteful extravagance, and I may cancel it). On long trips I like to choose a decade. I find that I gravitate to the music of the 70s and 80s. Perhaps that's because the music was more danceable, had more rhythm, better recorded sound quality than in previous decades, or perhaps it just brings back good memories of being a teen or young adult, when everything seemed possible.

Outside of "popular music" I enjoy classical and Irish music (which is culturally appropriate for me).
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:30 AM   #4
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I'm glad I was able to start a conversation!

For the past two years I have had Sirius XM in my car (I know, I know, wasteful extravagance, and I may cancel it). On long trips I like to choose a decade. I find that I gravitate to the music of the 70s and 80s. Perhaps that's because the music was more danceable, had more rhythm, better recorded sound quality than in previous decades, or perhaps it just brings back good memories of being a teen or young adult, when everything seemed possible.

Outside of "popular music" I enjoy classical and Irish music (which is culturally appropriate for me).
DW has satellite in her car and I always flip it over to the 40s channel. Even though I was born much later than that, for some reason that is the popular music that I can identify with. That and 17th and 18th century European Classical music.

I suspect that part of my rejection of the music from the 70s has been my attempt to move away (physically, mentally and emotionally) from the events of my childhood/adolescence. Not that those events were negative, it just seems that they are irrelevant to who I am now. And maybe even who I thought I wanted to be at the time.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:15 AM   #5
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I think two things come into play.

First, IMO, ~97% of the music I grew up with was garbage. Yes, I love some of it, and a lot of music on my hard drive is from that era (Cream, Janis, Led Zep, The Who, Jeff Beck, etc). But that's survivorship bias - the junk isn't on my hard drive (other than a few nostalgic/novelty tunes). I think we turn that filtering around to form some revisionist history ('I've got all this great classic rock on my hard drive from the 60's & 70's - man, there sure was a lot of good music back then').

Second - at a young age, and not having many other options, I listened to top 40 radio. Today, I have other choices, so I really don't listen to current pop radio much at all. But when I do (the kids take control of the tuner in the car), I think it is probably the same 97% garbage ratio. It might seem higher just due to not being familiar with the tunes/style (some of my favorite tunes today were ones I didn't care for the first time I heard them - they had to 'grow on me').

So less exposure means we don't often hear the few good songs that are current. But I'm not convinced there is a huge difference. OK, I detest rap & hip-hop, but I also detest that mindless, rhythmic bilge they called 'Disco'.

One example that I recall - when that song "Rolling in the Deep" hit the radio, I said to my kids, now that has a cool sound, I like it. They were already tired of it, I guess it was overplayed, just like the top hits of my day.

I'll go back another generation - when I became aware of the great swing and jazz players of the 40's and early 50's, I dug into my parent's old record collection, expecting to find some Ellington and Goodman. I found a bunch of pop junk.

I don't things things have changed much. Different players, pretty much the same game. JMO.


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Old 08-06-2014, 10:46 AM   #6
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I think two things come into play.

First, IMO, ~97% of the music I grew up with was garbage. Yes, I love some of it, and a lot of music on my hard drive is from that era (Cream, Janis, Led Zep, The Who, Jeff Beck, etc). But that's survivorship bias - the junk isn't on my hard drive (other than a few nostalgic/novelty tunes). I think we turn that filtering around to form some revisionist history ('I've got all this great classic rock on my hard drive from the 60's & 70's - man, there sure was a lot of good music back then').

...

-ERD50
Good points and I think that the survivorship bias plays into why it has been easy for me to like so many kinds of music - others have done the pruning of the crap.

However, one of the things that I have really enjoyed with my exploration of 18th century music is to go back and start to unearth some of the less well crafted music and compare it to the stuff that everyone agrees is great. This really allows one to gain some perspective on what makes the great stuff great.

Also, I can't believe some of the crap that XM has on their 40s channel - not all of it is the great stuff from that era. They must get some bulk discount from ASCAP that requires them to play a certain percentage of really bad and rightly unremembered pieces.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:19 AM   #7
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I live in a 55+ community. The music piped in at the rec center is soft rock from the 70s and 80s. Works for me as its all the music I grew up with and its soothing without being too "fuddy duddy"
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:12 PM   #8
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I live in a 55+ community. The music piped in at the rec center is soft rock from the 70s and 80s. Works for me as its all the music I grew up with and its soothing without being too "fuddy duddy"

This is just what I dread. There is no way that I could live in that community. I'm glad that it works for you, though.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:36 PM   #9
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I get my Lawrence Welk fix nightly on my local PBS television station.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:42 PM   #10
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Well, I still like the music I liked as a teen. That wouldn't be too surprising. It would be fair to say I "grew up" with my parent's music, which was OK but never my favorite. So did I seek out rock because I liked it or because it was there? Would have been kind of tough to like something that I wasn't exposed to, so maybe my choices were a little limited. No big exposure to classical music, but enough.

Currently I pull from a wide range of genre's, according to iTunes, but typically female songwriters and relatively recent. Some of that in my past as well, but they wouldn't have been in my favorites list back then. I've ripped and collected a lot of my oldies as well, but very few are in my normal listening rotation.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:22 PM   #11
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Timely post...
For the past two years, I have been retracing the music of my life... Stopped listening to current music about 20 years ago, so the memories range from the 1930's to the 1980's, but basically ended with Elvis, and the Beatles, 'cept for a fling with Country Western, in my guitar playing days.

So, here's what I'm doing now... I have about 4000 mp3's, mostly full playlists of all my favorite artist's songs. Being a thorough romantic, it's Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Patsy Cline, Jackie Gleason, Johnny Mathis, Jerry Vale, The Carpenters, Claudine Longet, John Denver, Peggy Lee, and my all-time favorite Sarah Brightman.

Now, I'm filling in the gaps, by buying tapes of the big bands and the 1930's/40's jazz. Duke Ellington Fats Domino, Ella Fitzgerald and a hundred more artists that most have never heard of or have forgotten about. I also have a significant collection of LP's... just because I enjoy the ambience of the scratches and hissing of well worn years of play. The going rate (which I never exceed) is $.10/tape, $.25/LP.

The other... rekindled interest is Classical... with memories of parsing Bach or Wagner from my music classes. Listen only when I'm sharp enough to pick out the voices and to mentally catalog the mathematics. Inherited a whole collection of classics on tape, from a neighbor who downsized and couldn't bring them with her.

I have never listened to a rap "song", have no idea of who is popular, and have an automatic turn off to hard rock, frantic guitar, and anything that I can't understand.

When to listen?... tapes, in my 18 year old SLS... night time as a sleeping pill, and at camp, when I'm all alone... volume up and a sing-a-long. Just bought a 1987 Casio Boombox with radio/CD/tape and a fantastic sound, brand new condition, for $10 @ Goodwill...

embarrassed about the gap in listening, but am making up for it now.

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Old 08-06-2014, 01:35 PM   #12
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Well, I still like the music I liked as a teen. That wouldn't be too surprising. It would be fair to say I "grew up" with my parent's music, which was OK but never my favorite. So did I seek out rock because I liked it or because it was there? Would have been kind of tough to like something that I wasn't exposed to, so maybe my choices were a little limited. No big exposure to classical music, but enough.

Currently I pull from a wide range of genre's, according to iTunes, but typically female songwriters and relatively recent. Some of that in my past as well, but they wouldn't have been in my favorites list back then. I've ripped and collected a lot of my oldies as well, but very few are in my normal listening rotation.
I still like a small fraction of the music that I liked as a teen, but that music makes up an incredibly small fraction of the music that I now listen to. My folks listened to top 40 and Country Western music when I was growing up and of course my friends listened to the usual pop/rock stuff that was omnipresent. Classical was not part of my environment, except for a 9 week general music class in 9th grade. That was just enough to get me to realize that other types of music existed. So when I went away to college I enrolled in a Music Appreciation class and, my god, the doors were wide open! Opera, Bach, madrigals, Mozart, pre-WWII Jazz, I couldn't believe that no one had told me about these things! This was music that meant something to me.

About the same time I met DW and we were able to bond over classical concerts. She encouraged me to start singing in classical singing groups. I taught myself to play harpsichord, baroque flute, recorder, etc.

So, all in all, I have had a wonderful experience with music in my life. BUT, because I can't stand have never found a connection to the music that floats around in the everyday environment, I often feel like I am totally out of place.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:44 PM   #13
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Spotify has done more to expand my musical tastes than anything else. I really like their custom playlists and radio stations based on already favorite artists. Nice to have whatever I feel like listening to, right at my fingertips.
I'm an Americana listener, some red dirt country, and a decent amount of 70s singer songwriter stuff for when I'm melancholy.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:22 PM   #14
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James Taylor was one of my biggest influences. A friend sent me guitar tab of his tunes, which shows you how to play it.

I got a copy of his album "Mud Slide Slim" and went nuts, especially a tune called "Hey Mister, That's Me Up On The Jukebox".
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:55 PM   #15
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I don't know about cultural nostalgia. At least two dozen times over the past couple of years have I heard a song playing in the hair salon or a restaurant and had a severe high school or college flashback.

"I can't believe they're STILL playing this song 40 years later!" I'll usually exclaim to the hairdresser/waiter. They are invariably 10 to 30 years younger than I, so I'll usually get a funny look.

I just think it's odd to hear so much music from the late 60s, 70s, and early 80s played so often, over 30 years later!! Sure there was a lot of really great stuff (I still listen to Dark Side of the Moon), but I hear so much of the truly forgettable stuff - stuff I hoped I would never have to listen to again.

OK everybody - get the BTO "Taking Care of Business" earworm going! That's just an example of a song that was played on the radio 100s of times and at every school dance, etc, when I was young. I really don't need to hear it again!

I guess I don't suffer from cultural nostalgia?

What does Audrey listen to most these days? I think it's called "electronic groove" I particularly like the stuff that has a world-beat/ethnic spin. I tend to call it "techno pop" and some of it did come out in the 80s. I've picked up quite a bit of this music from the XM Chill satellite radio channel over several years. A lot of what they play is really boring, but there is an occasional gem, and from it I've become acquainted with groups like Thievery Corporation, Zero Seven, Track and Field, and Afro-Celt Sound System. Great stuff and different from my youth.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:05 PM   #16
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There is so much music my kids know from movie soundtracks and even overlayed on tv shows (yeah, CSI, I'm talking about you). I adore the music I grew up with including those songs (yeah, "Who Are You," I'm talking about you) but much of it is so keyed to a specific event for me that listening to it gives me a headache from memory overload. Not to mention listening to DH's analysis of same.

Speaking of tv, I really like the late night talk shows for the up and coming musicians they almost all feature during the last few minutes. Such a great variety of music today!
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:09 PM   #17
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I still LOVE rock music from the 1970s (years when I was in college and in my first couple of jobs). My iPod is full of it (including everything Led Zeppelin ever recorded), although I have eclectic tastes and there are a lot of other genres, too.

What I find weird is that our local grocery store uses canned music that includes a lot of stuff from the 1970s. It's the softer rock (Pure Prairie League and Rod Stewart rather than The Who), but I'm sure someone with a fancy degree was paid to find out what makes us buy more and it's 1970s pop music.
+1 as you can see above. I should have read your post first! LOL!

Yeah, I heard some Rod Stewart recently and remember thinking "Oh, No!"

Now if it had been The Who, I would NOT have complained!
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:32 AM   #18
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My 23 YO son and his friends went berserk when they came across my stash of albums from the late 60's to early 80's. They absolutely love it. Well, most of it anyway. They say all the stuff put out now is crap!
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:25 PM   #19
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I still recall my eldest daughter's mouth dropping open when I started singing "American Woman" (including air guitar) to Lenny Kravitz the first time it came across the TV screen. She never did figure that one out.

Years earlier, I had a boss who was laughing about his young teen boys. They were complaining about some band ripping off the song "Signs" Apparently they heard the Five Man Electrical Band version and thought it was a rip off of the current cover (maybe Tesla/?).

I always liked it when "newer" bands covered or sampled "older" (my era) songs. I figured it gave current kids a chance to hear what "real" music could be. Yeah. I know. I'm getting too old for this s...tufffff.



Our youngest got into 50's, 60's and 70's music (probably because that's all I ever played on the radio and stereo.) She also got into Country (like Rascal Flatts) because that's what DW listened to . I dread the day when the "oldies stations" are playing Britney Spears and Katy Perry. Oh, well. I guess I can deal with those as long as there is never a Rap/Hip-Hop oldies station. Just sayin' so YMMV.
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