50 Million Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong–Are Musical Favorites Objectively Good?


Since the dawn of humanity, music has been a way to connect those both spiritually and physically across the globe. From the banging of sticks on the bones of dead animals to the synthesizer, music transcended humanity in many ways. When people are faced with a topic so diverse, they cling to one sect of it and never let go. Choosing favorites in music sometimes has to do with those around you, rather than objective talent because of human patterns to change their opinion to the one of the group. The Eagle’s Cry discusses what makes music good, as well as whether or not the average person’s taste in music falls in line with those findings.

First thing on the agenda: What makes music enjoyable? From the range of rhythms to the linguistics of lyrics, musical pieces always have something that draws in a group. For some, it is the lyrics, tones, and deeper meanings within songs that draw them in. For others, it is how catchy the song is which drives them to listen over and over until the song becomes stale.

 “Some of my peers get locked in a box; they never break free; they don’t know what’s going on,” said Mr. Malossi, a BHS English teacher and former musical artist who released albums in the “Indie Rock” genre. Mr. Malossi currently has an album in the works (see a future article by TEC). During our interview, the topic of rock music came up.

Mr. Malossi said, “[Rock] is a perfect marriage of lyricism and musicianship; it can be really pretty, it can be aggressive. It can cater to any emotion,” as his reasons for citing the genre as his favorite. He agreed that the opinions of his peers are very similar to his due to having roughly the same influences. Maybe it isn’t our own tastes that define what music we listen to–but rather our influences and upbringing?

To resolve this classic Nature v. Nurture case, The Eagle’s Cry brought in a BHS music expert: Ms. Kovacs. None have experienced music the same way a music teacher has; this is especially true for one that is involved with multiple aspects of BHS such as the Masquer’s Guild, chorale, and Cabaret Night. She even performed with multiple Folk and Punk bands. Ms. Kovacs interacts with many students per day in a musical environment, so favorites are always a topic of discussion in her classroom. “I think everyone should listen to music outside of their comfort zone and recognize the beauty in different genres. How boring would we all be if we never expanded what we listen to, read, watch, or experience?”

So what does this mean? Is music capable of being rated objectively or is it all subjective? It’s time to look within yourself and start asking the big questions: Do you like this song because you like the music’s depth and meaning, or do you like it because it sounds neat? Or perhaps it is just what’s in right now? That’s for you to decide.