A half dozen years ago, someone posted this to Yahoo! Answers:
“I don’t like music. At all. Any of it. Does this have a name? To me, music is an intrusive noise. It gets in the way of my thoughts and prevents my structuring a sentence.”
She goes on complaining that others try to share different types of music, but her reaction is the same. Some of the folks answering her find this either bizarre or else they too do suggest she hasn’t been exposed to the right kind of music.
But now, researchers say that some people lack the ability to get pleasure from music. There’s even a fancy phrase for it: “specific musical anhedonia.” Of course, I find it a little odd, but we’re all constructed differently.
There is even a musical reward questionnaire out there. I was slightly disappointed that all my answers were in the “normal” range for music enjoyment (40 to 60), with “social” being the highest, with a 59.
Jaquandor did one of his random Wednesday conversation starters a few weeks back: “How much do you sing? Publicly? In a choir, or solo? Only at home amongst friends? Only in the car or the shower?” I was really sad to read one response:
Never. When I was 10 years old I was told not to sing in church. We were doing some kind of Christmas thing and each Sunday school class was going to sing in front of the church. The Sunday school teacher kept trying coach me and finally gave up and told me to just move my lips. I guess that warped me for life because it’s been many years since I’ve even felt like singing.
I thought this was terrible! Someone sucked the joy of singing right out of this person’s life, and at such an early age.
As a former Methodist and long-time choir member, I am well aware of John Wesley’s Rules for Singing (1761), my favorite of which is this:
“Sing lustily, and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of it being heard, then when you sing the songs of Satan.”