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Old 10-22-2009, 04:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Race/gender/sex. orientation and musical stereotyping

Prompted by proggyman's comment in the member's picture gallery, I thought it would be interesting to talk about how someone's race, gender or sexual orientation influences your perception of their musical tastes. I think in general, this is a pretty white hetero male dominated music forum so it's not unexpected that any deviation from the norm would be at least a little surprising. Now, I'm obviously from deep in the backwater so I haven't had much chance to mingle with people of different races but for some reason, be it through TV or internet or whatever, I've constructed a stereotype in which black people don't really listen to rock and roll, and especially not indie music. This is why I'm always a little pleasantly surprised when I see people who deviate from those expectations (like when Jay-Z was seen at a Grizzly bear gig).

As for my personal experiences with gay people (in Croatia mind you), I think there's a definitely higher percentage of people into mainstream pop music, a much smaller group of people into indie music, and and even smaller one into hard types of music (mostly industrial, which I suppose is the queerest of the hard rock genres). As far as my own tastes and stereotypes, I'd say that unlike the majority of musicbanter, I tend to be much more accepting of good mainstream pop and dance music.

Now, are my prejudice just that, baseless preconceptions or is there some truth to musical stereotyping? Is there a relation between your race/gender/orientation and the music you listen to? Are you the victim of any such stereotypes? Is this thread a little stupid/offensive? Thoughts?
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think it should be offensive to point out trends that are plain to see exist. As an example, since we have a "history of metal" thread - how many black musicians are mentioned in this thread? Very few - possibly only two I would think, which is Jimi Hendrix and Phil Lynott. Metal as a genre of music today is largely defined by white people like the members of Metallica and Black Sabbath. I'm not saying metal excludes black people, but it's not as much part of their cultural heritage. Look at the blues and it's a different story.

Observing a difference isn't the same as saying that difference is right or wrong, so I think you're in the moral clear

I think there are some things you forgot when it comes to stereotypes, though - what about nationality and age? Those are things I might draw conclusions from before actually knowing. There are some kinds of music that I think of as distinctly american, for example the commercial punk sounds of NOFX, Blink 182 and Good Charlotte and the emo power rock from bands like Nickelback, Creed and perhaps related, Evanescense.


By nationality, I stereotype finnish people as well. The stereotypical fin of about my age (late 20s) listens to metal, often cheesy, and their favourite bands lists is going to include a lot of bands from his or her home country. I've met quite a few fins who more or less fit this stereotype as well so in my experience it's been reasonably accurate It's not a bad stereotype, though, I'm fairly compatible.
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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well i'm spanish, and looking from my last fm charts

kweejibo’s Music Profile – Users at Last.fm

i guess it wouldn't fit a stereotype like that, considering how some people think spanish people only like spanish music.
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isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i'm Slovak and i have no idea what you're trying to say.

my roommate is *** and he listens to metal, nothing else.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought you were an American...
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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im a girl, and scottish. and 18. i have no idea what my stereotype is on here, but a local stereotype would be that i am a Ned, cause the music i listen to. which is not true of me at all.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I Listen to a lot of Soul and world (even different languages) music, so not race.
I Listen to plenty of guys and girls, in fact i like it when the voices are sang together, so not gender.
I've listened to plenty of *** and lesbian musicians/bands, on of my friends who's a violinist is lesbian, so not orientation.
But, i admit i have commited stereotypes against different genres, like "rap is all crap", when only a large portion is (i've actually listened to it). and "country music is generic" when that's mostly just a large portion of mainstream country.

A lot of people think since i'm a teenager that i play punk music, and that I'm terrible (i'm currently fourth place on three different songs on a Marcy playground remix contest, i'm a DJ for a nonprofit organization. someone [on this site] messaged me asking me to be his music mentor.)
Also people hate the genres i play in (Alt-Folk, Indie-Electronica)
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i'm an asexual hominid and have encountered no prejudice. I have unreasonably high/wide standards so am used to disappointment when talking to anyone in Real Life about music; but still people will often surprise you by not conforming to the pointless stereotypes you secretly judge people by

Although i think in the UK, sadly, there are obvious class/geographical boundaries that all too often narrow what people are exposed to and the tastes they form; in the environment I inhabit of predominantly middle-class white youth (all of whom I would consider to be another generation to me 'culturally') there is a tendency toward popular chart 'indie' and this is reflected in the bands that perform at the union - there's very little variation.
I really delighted in the aggravation caused by Tinchy Stryder (sub-par urban pop/former grime MC) playing the other week, it brought an influx of chavs from the Norwich 'burbs and was the most fun i had for a while

All of this musical stereotyping is being affected by the free flow of all music on the internet you would hope, but most casual listeners don't have the time or inclination to explore and just stick to their own depressing spoonfed soundtrack until they drop. As far as i can see
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i'd say geography plays a huge part in the validity of sterotypes, especially the population density. where you live in the city will usually give me a good idea of the type of music you're into, but in cities there exists a greater probablity that racially associated music will be embraced by many different people. i know tons of blacks who listen to metal or indie, despite the predominant rap stereotype. what i like is that shows are almost multicultural affairs, i don't see too many all white or all black events taking place.
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
I don't think it should be offensive to point out trends that are plain to see exist. As an example, since we have a "history of metal" thread - how many black musicians are mentioned in this thread? Very few - possibly only two I would think, which is Jimi Hendrix and Phil Lynott. Metal as a genre of music today is largely defined by white people like the members of Metallica and Black Sabbath. I'm not saying metal excludes black people, but it's not as much part of their cultural heritage. Look at the blues and it's a different story.
Eh, some of the more influential underground metal bands have black members. Suffocation and Blasphemy come to mind rather readily. Further, numerous 3rd world bands have had quite the impact (Sarco***o, Pentagram (Chile), etc..)....

The third world element is what really blows my mind. It's a bit amazing that some Brazilians, in the 1980s, were developing (and playing!) a rather innovative style of metal, together with some Americans, Norwegians, and Australians :p
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