Music Tastes Reflect Diversity

Music is essential to life— everyone agrees. Yet people still argue over which genre is the best. Having different genres of music is important to encourage diversity and creativity. At Longfellow, everyone listens to different music for different reasons. It is an important part of our lives. 

Eighth grader Lola L. prefers pop music. “It’s something I listen to every day,” she said. “I prefer the beats and the sounds. It gives me creativity.”

According to the Minnesota University online library, pop music originated from the 1930s jazz and blues era. It has picked up lots of influences along the way, with current pop music taking heavy influence from the hip-hop and rock music of the 1990s. Pop is known for its energetic beat and rhythmical lyrics. Rock dominated the early 2000’s but pop soon took over later in the decade. In its debut years, it was made of a lot of girl and boy bands.

8th grader Ryan H. prefers to listen to rap music.  “I enjoy rap music because the beats are better than anything else, and it’s more uplifting,” said Ryan. The rhythm of the music is a very prominent part of rap as it continues to gain more popularity, especially in teens. It can be influential on attitude and has many positive effects.

Rap originated as street art in the 1970s, according to Holr, a lifestyle magazine. In the beginning, it often included mainly lyrics and a simple beat.

“I think the benefits are it makes you happier whenever you listen to it, and it can get you into other artists that you may not know of,” said Ryan. Rap music is a growing genre that has so much to discover.

No discussion of music would be complete without mentioning the huge success of country music. 

 “I have listened to country music, especially when I lived in a small rural community. There were a lot of country music fans in the area,” said history teacher Jane Layton 

Country music is a big part of life in the South and less urban areas.  According to Britannica, an online database, country music is an American style that originated in the Southern Appalachians from fiddle players in the late 1910s. It became more popular in the 1950s-60s, and Nashville, Tennessee, became the heart of country music. Throughout the century, this genre has spread around the country and taken on many different forms.

“It has changed over time,” explained Layton.  I’ve noticed that it’s a lot more upbeat than it used to be. And it reflects more of modern music with the actual tempo and things like that. They’ve got a little bit of rap in some of the country music, and I think that’s because they’re trying to encourage young people to listen.” As country music has changed, she has listened to it less and discovered other genres.

Eighth grader Tommy H. pointed out that listening to different genres is a healthy way of approaching music.

“I think different genres can affect different people in different ways because of the stories behind the music and how the music is based,” said Tommy. 

People react to music differently, and its impact can change based on each individual. Music is an experience that allows anyone to find their interests and discover themselves. At Longfellow, music is a crucial part of our everyday lives.