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Are We All "Unsophisticated" Dolts Trying To Fit In?

McGinns discussion of popular music is very interesting and I must say that I agree with
him to a certain extent. Nowadays, people are profiled by the kind of music they listen to, more
than movies and books. Research has shown that music is a good indicator of sophistication.
Musical behavior in particular shows how sophisticated a civilization is. This involves listening
expertise where a listener can tell how the musical instruments are arranged in a composition. An
analysis of Rock music is very interesting when it comes to appreciation since the genre is very
popular in most Western cultures. I believe that most people who listen to rock music are
averagely sophisticated. Like McGinn puts it, the genre has simple musical arrangement, a high
pitched lyrical content and a rhythmic beat. In my view, the genre requires little intelligence to
appreciate the composition thus making it very popular over the years.
Different genres are listened to by people from different social classes. Classical music
for instance is appreciated a lot by rich people. A study by Mllensiefe et al. (2014) concluded
that musical sophistication is directly correlated to such socio-demographic variables as peoples
occupations, social status, gender, financial status and age. I believe that Rock lacks the depth
exhibited by intricate genres like Classical music and Jazz where composers and instrumentalists
spend a lot of time to put together complex compositions. Also, many Rock lovers shift their
interest to other genres when they grow older (Griffiths, 2013). A study by British researchers
found that people listen to certain music genres with respect to the different phases of life that
they are in (Griffiths, 2013). Teenagers for instance love Rock because it is energetic, trendy and
they are not keen on lyrics. The study also indicated that people listen to particular music genres
in order to fit within a group and find a partner before they use music to express their intelligence
and emotions.

Response 1
I partially agree with the first classmates stand on the subject. McGinn was merely
stating what other people were afraid to accept but I also think that his position was an
unnecessary generalization. The classmates notion that different people have different interests
when it comes to music and other forms of art is true because these tastes are what shape an
individuals personality. The classmate has however taken the discussion with a personal touch
by even explaining his or her love for alternative rock. I find this approach unproductive because
it makes the discussion subjective and not objective. The classmate also agrees that the simple
nature of Rock music attracts people who not that sophisticated which proves McGinn right. I
agree with the classmates view that even though people may love a certain type of music during
a certain age, it should not define who they are. This is true because the reality is that even
sophisticated people listen to Rock, Punk, Reggae and less intricate genres.
Response 2
I find the second classmates approach on the matter rather insightful since it is true that
as humans, we are always progressing intellectually. This is very evident when people move
from one age group to the next where they find themselves liking a certain type of music based
on its popularity. I am also in agreement that the same principle can be applied to other forms of
expression. In my view, appreciation of art, history and movies is just as dynamic as appreciating
music. Tastes evolve and one can find themselves liking something just to be part of a group. I
also agree that it is unfair to generalize that people who like Rock have identity issues. I believe
most Rock lovers like listening to it because it is simply enjoyable and easy to dance

Griffiths, S. (2013). Scientists Prove Our Taste in Music Does Change Over a Lifetime. Mail
Online. Retrieved 21 April 2016, from
Mllensiefen, D., Gingras, B., Musil, J., & Stewart, L. (2014). The Musicality of NonMusicians: An Index for Assessing Musical Sophistication in the General Population. Plos ONE,
9(2), e89642.