What is your "Musical Ideology"?

It seems to me that people, over time, develop certain "guidelines" if you will, which dictate which bands/styles of music they will like or dislike. If you could, I'd like for you to try and describe your particular "ideology" with regards to music, put a name to it if you like.

It's different from just saying "well I like these bands so this is my taste", it's more describing your underlying mindset and *why* you came to like those bands/artists, and why you continue to look for music like that etc. So you could certainly talk about the bands you listened to early on and how that affected the way you think of music.

And please don't go on about "oh why should I label myself" or "I jus' like wut I like"... I just want you to analyze your taste, tell me what type of bands you go for, and why you go for them. Of course it is possible (tho probably unlikely) that your taste is totally chaotic and random, and you cannot begin to describe any general tendencies of it, but I think the vast majority can.


At any rate, for an example, my "Musical Ideology" is such that I have come to look for music with a strong focus on melody/harmony, I like music of a "Progressive" nature/structure and all that entails, and I like good musicianship in general. I think getting into bands like The Moody Blues and CSN&Y early on fostered this mentality, especially the "melody focused" part of that. Perhaps one could say that I am of the "Melodic/Progressive/Musicianly" ideology, or some such thing (don't think of it as a "label", just a summary).

But I would expect an avid listener of Noise Music or Hip Hop or Country would have much different criteria for what they listen for in music to determine if it's good or not.

This may have gotten extremely confusing as I've typed it so if it's making no sense to you, try and define "Musical Ideology" the best you can and go from there, thanks.

BQ: First 5 bands you really got into/liked a ton?


I don't think it's restrictive, GESM. It's understood that not *all* music that can fall under a given ideology, one will like just because they usually like bands like that. However it does describe the general tendency.

You for example would have to account for your liking of the New York Dolls/T. Rex etc., hence you could perhaps say you have a general "art rock/intellectual" ideology, with a bit of a "glam" flair.

... and most Ramones fans don't know goddamn Spock's Beard... *grumble*

Update 2:

I like these answers, but I think if there is something you guys aren't getting w/ this question, it's that you end up saying "I have no ideology". That is more likely my fault than not tho. Perhaps "ideology" is too "strict-sounding" of a term.

If anyone sees this, might this be a better question:

"What are your general tendencies in music taste?"

Although I guess that is mainly what people are saying here... I'm not sure, it's hard to pinpoint what I could have phrased better but feel free to make suggestions.

Update 3:


One doesn’t need to wield any control at all over what they like or dislike in music to have a “Musical Ideology”. It is just whatever ideas about music which dictate what music they will gravitate to, that developed over time listening to music.

And does no one like music soley (or at least mainly) because of personal likes and dislikes?

But that aside, even if the “market and peer pressure” are the main factors in forming one’s musical ideology, that is irrelevant to the point that they still in fact have one, and can describe it here, as you have done at the end of your answer.

And hey, if you think there is some amazing music that is “not commercially available” to you, feel free to try and find it and show the rest of us.

24 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    I tried and tried and tried but this darn question is just too awesome not to answer.

    That being said it's also not an easy thing for me to codify where my musical ideology came from, so bear with me. I got a late start in rock music, my Mother was a pretty serious Fundie Christian that honestly believed Rock was the Devil's work, and would never allow her son to have any contact with anything that evil or subversive to Christianity (As she saw it) That's not to say I didn't have any experience with Rock at all, I got to hear it at friend's houses etc, all through the 70's, but not really enough to form a gestalt of it. It was all my experiences on my own that shaped my musical philosophies and ideology. And all that happened after I was 17. My Mom had been killed in a car wreck and My Dad was gone pretty much 24 7 and a lot of what I had to occupy my time in the meanwhile was the local radio station, WKQQ 98.1 Lexington KY, and what they played was AOR. Basically Classic Rock, Prog, and (for then) modern Hard Rock. And this music was all very new and very exciting to me. But also I had pretty much "virgin" ears then and didn't really grasp most of what I was hearing either, usually just the beat and maybe some melody. So after all this, what shaped my musical ideology was a bunch of the songs I heard during those first three years (83 84 85) that really stood out above the rest for one reason or another. And some of those songs were

    Who's Behind The Door by Zebra


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    I was sitting in the living room one Saturday evening when this came on. I was utterly amazed and floored. See I grew up a real Sci-Fi nerd, child of Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica and Logan's Run. So the Sci-Fi lyrics blew me away. But the mindblowing didn't stop there. This song more than any other really marked my music taste for life in many facets. It was my first exposure to "Epicness" in a song, which is one of my favorite things to this day. It also gave me my lifelong appreciation for what Peaches calls "catscreech" a.k.a high-pitched male vocals. Cause Randy Jackson's soaring vocals shot my brain straight into infinity. Another thing that floored me was the choral effect vocals, yet another thing I've loved to this day

    War Pigs by Black Sabbath


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    This song hit me like a lightning bolt straight from God. I actually had to (no joke) pull over and just stare, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was utter DOOM coalesced into the form of a song. I have always had a streak of deep darkness in me, tragedy and emotional pain has been a part of my life since I can remember being alive and this song tapped straight into that at root level. War Pigs was also the first Metal song I loved.

    Starship Trooper by Yes


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    It's hard to describe what happened to me when I first heard this. I was lying down at like 3am listening to the radio and this came on. The intro hooked me right away but that was only the beginning of it. I was amazed at the sheer thickness tone and power of Chris Squire's Bass, I had heard anyone play Bass like that before, almost like lead. It was devastating combined with Jon Anderson's soaring voice. I was also amazed at the song's complexity and how all the different parts were welded into a whole. But none of that matters compared to the "Wurm" section. Sweet Jesus Christ my mind left my body and was transported to a alien world to watch a titanic alien sunrise. I never experienced anything remotely like it. I became an instant Prog fan for life

    Wish You Were Here by Pink Floy


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    This one snuck up on me, and caused me to have to pull over yet again. The beginning didn't really grab me, till he started to sing....

    The lyrics hit me like a ton of bricks and I had to pull over

    Kashmir by Led Zeppelin


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    Never have I been so hypnotized and mesmerized by a song. What the Wurm section of Starship Trooper did to me for a couple of minutes this did to me for 8 and a half. Totally transported. This song made me an instant fan of powerful drums, reinforced my love of high pitched male vocals and gave me a taste for the exotic in my music, all at once

    Evil Eye by Yngwie Malmsteen


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    I liked Guitar before this but it never really majorly stood out. It was at equal status with the Vocals, Bass, Drums & Keys. Till I bought a copy of Rising Force at the music store and popped it in my car's brand new tape deck, and almost died of a shredgasm I am talking sheer jaw dropped awe. I fell in love with Guitar on the spot.

    2112 by Rush


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    By 84 I had gotten a little bit into Prog (mostly because of Yes and Saga) and there was a really cool used music store called Bear's Wax (The dude that ran it totally looked like a cross between Jerry Garcia and the lead sing of Counting Crows btw) and one day I asked him what he had that was anything like Yes, he handed me this tape with a big red pentagram on the cover and the title "2112". I will never forget hearing 2112 for the first time, massive chillbumps. Total shock and awe. Especially that ending. I damn near burst into tears at the awesomeness


    Hell yeah you have. Never in my life did I dream of something so awesome. Geddy's Bass and Neil's Drumming overpowered and astounded me, the storyline gave me a new definition for epic. And through this song I spent years getting into Rush.

    So my Musical Ideology is this. I love musicianship and storytelling, and unusual themes, I love melody and complexity, but also power. And it's all because of those songs.




    Led Zeppelin



    I wrote a freaking novel

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Well for me I can definitely say that I favor music that is a bit "catchy" and contains elements that I can grasp unto. I don't mean catchy as in a hook or a looping chorus but rather a certain sound or genre-specific thing that my mind can latch unto and groove to.Sludge Metal for example has the "heaviness" factor and slow, crunchy sound that I found I have liked ever since my first few listens to Black Sabbath. I'm not just going to listen to a song because I like the lyrics or the drums sections is prolific or other reasons that people have listed as to why they listen to a certain song.

    Other than that my taste is pretty varied but I am only 19 so it is still very much developing and progressing. Right now, I'm open to just about anything. I'm not really set on any particular ideology or anything of that sort. Whatever sounds good I'll bump it.

    BQ: Black Sabbath

    System of a Down

    Bone Thugs n Harmony

    Parokya ni Edgar


  • Red
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I think what I tend to look for in music is something that has a really nice melody and honest emotion in it. Neil Young and Elliott Smith are my two favourite artists and I think that they employed that a lot into their music.

    I also love music that is powerful but also carries a really nice tune. For example, Search And Destroy by the Stooges is one of my all time favourite songs. It's a very raw and powerful punk rock/proto punk rock song but a lot of the time I just can't help but sing along with Iggy. It's the kind of song that sounds dangerous but still has a great melody underneath it. The same thing sort of goes for the Psychocandy album by the Jesus & Mary Chain. Each song is covered in distortion and feedback but you can still hear the almost pop-like tune under all that fuzz which is one of the reasons why I love it.

    BQ: Nirvana, Guns N Roses, Green Day, Sum 41, Blink 182

    Seems like a lifetime ago since I first got into these.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I'm not really horribly picky, but nor can I exactly explain what makes me like or dislike certain things...they're always more to discover.

    Usually I just listen to it for a while, and if I like it, I like it, and if I don't I don't. Sometimes it's wierd...i.e. I like Symphonic metal such as Tiamat and the Sins of Thy Beloved, yet I've never been able to get into Sirenia or Lacuna Coil which are considered similar.

    I guess in general I'd say that I like bands that have:

    -an actual passion for what they do, if the emotion is not there I probably won't like it

    -good riffage, complex structure

    -inventive lyrics (though not a necessity)

    -talented musicans that play the guitar well and can use a variety of different styles

    -Either amazing clean vocals or growled vocals

    -usually upbeat and at least somewhat agressive songs (not angry...I mean not soft)

    -Epic feeling, usually mean some sort of symphonic elements (keys)

    -I love twin guitar melodies

    -sometimes bluesy

    -often folk influenced, in this instance I can stand it being a bit softer

    -I'm a big fan of fantasy/mythology/history/philosophy themed stuff. Cheese can be awesome if used the right way, don't see what people have against it (Hammerfall FTW! :D)

    I don't like:

    -bands where every single song is over 6 minutes long, it bored me (EXCEPT if it awesome prog metal or ambient such as Opeth or Agalloch)

    -overtly religious lyrics, they're often too preachy easy listening (either too Christian or Satanic, doesn't matter) or lyrics that are all about sex and superficial things

    -songs that are repetetive to the extreme (think: Time is Running by Cheap Trick)

    -bands that are all about the image and not the music (so a good majority of Glam, though some is great)

    -Vocalists with annoying voices ( I love Motorhead, but Lemmy's voice kind of grates on my ears. Though I think that's what is intended)

    -a very pop-sounding female vocalist (Delain singer teeters on the edge of this)

    -No bass

    -No guitar solos (blasphemy)

    -Country. Can't stand it except for 2 or three songs that I randomly love.

    -extremely long, repetetive intros (unless they are complex and interesting)

    That's basically it I guess.


    My very first rock bands? Hehe...

    -The Cars

    -Iron Maiden


    -Dropkick Murphys

    -Lynyrd Skynyrd

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  • 9 years ago

    I think when I was younger I picked up on the punk "musical ideology" that punk was not just my favourite kind of music but was actually better than other music because it was more spontaneous, from the "streets", and was about "real life" etc. I once told a mate who was into 60s garage punk that the Clash had recorded their first album in a week, thinking this was quite impressive. He just sneered "A week? That's far too long!" He'd recently bought a Billy Childish album that was recorded in an afternoon. This ultimately led to me coming to the conclusion that "musical ideology" can be a bit ridiculous. I like what I like, most of it happens to be punk, but if I want to listen to something else I will. I have met people who will stop listening to a certain band for ideological reasons. A mate of mine once told me he'd seen one of his favoutite 1977 punk bands play a gig after reforming and he was really embarrassed by them and thought they were acting like "rock stars", after which he decided he was never going to listen to their old records again. I always find this a bit strange - it's not as if the records sound an different, but to him what he thought they stood for was more important than the actual music.

    I'm not sure I've done what you wanted me to but I thought it was an interesting question. First 5 bands I really got into? In chronological order..

    Adam & The Ants

    Dexys Midnight Runners


    Echo & The Bunnymen

    New Model Army

    ...but more significantly next was the Clash which has had a lot more influence on what I've listened to since.

  • 9 years ago

    I am not sure I will answer this right. I do not think I am smart enough to go into depth as you are asking lol. I find that I listen to bands, and music that expresses how I feel. I know I have a lot of bottled up anger and music expresses that for me, there for I do not need to express my anger in a destructive way lol. I am also depressed. It runs in my family hardcore but I hate to show it on the outside. Music helps me express that too. So as a teen I loved bands like Disturbed, Korn, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Pearl Jam... and more. But now I listen to a lot of Breaking Benjamin, Three Day's Grace, AFI, Shinedown, Seether, Nickleback, The Used, Apocalyptica. But I love some country, some classical, I think that calms me, takes me away for a while from all that depressed and angry kind of music. So really I'm not sure, I know I listen to what expresses me and what I am feeling at the time.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I initially got into music through punk rock due to it's self destructive nature. I've progressed to various different genres over the years I tend to primarily listen to music which is raw and angry(generally not technical or political music however) or depressing and melodic so my taste will run from the nihilistic anger of Poison Idea to the sorrow of Townes Van Zandt. I listen to music which expresses genuine pain and hopelessness, because those are the emotions I relate to.

    I also occasionally listen to music which is good to sing along to or offensive because it's fun to drink to, but I wouldn't count those kinds of bands as favorites.


    Dead Boys

    David Allan Coe

    Black Flag

    Sid Vicious

    Townes Van Zandt

  • 4 years ago

    Who: Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen - Simon & Garfunkel What: Raspberry Beret - Prince Where: All Along The Watchtower - Bob Dylan When: Once Upon A Time In America - Ennio Morricone Why: Why? - Michael Card

  • 9 years ago

    I don't believe we wield much control over what we like in terms of music. For the simple reason, that music as we know it and hear it is driven more by demand and capitalism as opposed to personal likes and dislikes. So, what we chose to like or dislike in music is more a product of marketing and peer pressure. Since ideology is defined as a set of ideas that constitutes ones goals, expectations, and actions.

    Therefore, I argue there's no such thing as a "Musical Ideology". Putting that aside and forced to chose between what music is commercially available to me, I'd have to define my "Musical Ideology" as: Music that incorporates into its dna with original, harmonious and disharmonious melodies combined with spiritual, contextual and relevant lyrics.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    To be honest, some of my 'guidelines' come from what other people think of the band/genre.

    I think it's biased and unfair to find music based on what other people think, but it's a defitnitely factor when I choose music. For example, before I listened to Brokencyde, I heard a lot of people say they sucked. That kinda gave me a biased opinion on them. (I listened to a song by them and it turns out they did suck.) I don't judge the band that quickly, it's just that my opinion is biased.

    Another factor when I choose my music is how enjoyable it is. Though a band may not be extremely skilled or legendary, if I like it, I like it. However, sometimes I just want to listen to pure skill and talent to bless my ears.

    Also, I almost always want songs with good lyrics. Deep lyrics that mean something to me, something that makes me think deeply.

    These factors apply to any genre/sub genre that I listen to, so I don't have a particular genre that I listen to and listen to only.

    BQ: The Killers, Switchfoot, Muse, Nirvana and Foo Fighters, those were the first five, and that was quite some time ago.

  • 9 years ago

    my attention span is very short when it comes to listening to music. if it's over four minutes, then i usually become bored and lose interest, and move on to something else. i focus a lot on melody. a strong, catchy melody is incredibly important. that usually determines if i'm going to like a band or a song or whatever. it only makes sense that one of my favorite genres is 'garage' music. it's raw and short and loud and fast and snooty and catchy, all while keeping the pop song form: verse/chorus/verse. to me it's the perfect genre. obviously. everything i like about music is put into this one type of song. garage bands tend to have a more cheap, lo-fi sound. that rawness is what i'm really drawn to. the artists can't play their instruments perfectly and the singers can't sing like freddy mercury and the bands don't need to put out the next 'pet sounds' for me to like it. it's all about the chaos, the feeling that any moment it could all fall apart, the flimsiness of it. a band like the black lips is sort of the embodiment of all of this. they don't care what anyone thinks, they make their music, they're poor and dirty and they can't play guitar and they throw up on stage and get into fights and stick up for their girls and love their friends and don't take things too seriously or try to cure aids or feed every hungry person in the world or stop wars they have no control over. they know they have no place in that, they just wanna have fun and make people dance. i also like a lot of bands that very very few people have heard of. this isn't for my ego or an elitist thing; i'm more of a music hoarder. i'm greedy and get everything i can get my hands on from bands i like and band that influenced those bands and bands with similar sounds.

    hank williams, ocs, flying burrito bros, the traditional fools, lee hazlewood

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