Not liking music?

“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.”

no-music-150x150A 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.”

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “Not liking music?”

  1. Neat quiz. My social was really high, as was my emotion and mood regulation (all of which I felt were fair.)

    That was terrible for the never-singer. I was told to sing quietly in junior high and thought I couldn’t sing for most of my life. In my case it just turned out to be the wrong range.

  2. I think the poll was full of it. I was a 59-63 for most of it, and I am a professional musician who dances in the aisles at supermarkets! Roger, you are one of the more musically appreciate folks I know. I think we got ripped off!!

    Love the Wesley comment. Too bad he can’t hear our praise band, ha ha. Amy

  3. Yup. I was told not to sing in elementary school because my vocal mistakes were messing up everybody else. I got the message loud and clear: I shouldn’t sing with other people or in front of them because other people consider my singing annoying. I’ll bet that’s a lot more common than most people let on.

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