Poll: Musical Taste

What do our musical tastes say about us? Do you ever inadvertently judge someone based on what you hear them listening to? Tell us what genres you tend to listen to most when it’s your turn to pick the station or album or playlist.

And the list is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to share your favorite sub-genres or obscure styles that really work for you and why. And please list any new artists or albums that you want people to know about. I know I always appreciate good recommendations.

Corktree is exploring life and spirituality in new ways and new environments while studying midwifery, reiki, yoga, homeopathy, herbology and evolutionary nutrition. She has 3 daughters and one son, which add up to what now feels like an enormous family of 6.


  1. I’m an audiophile my music choices are almost totally driven by sound quality. I love symphonies, electric violin, electric piano and even a few select MoTab cuts because of the very full crystal clear harmonic sound they produce without the need for additional distortion or synthesizer fill in. But I also listen to some rock and pop for casual listening.

  2. I definitely judge people who listen to rap and country – IMO that’s the worst kind of music. I like music that soothes and relaxes me.

  3. Why does every poll have to take a swipe at the church? It’s pretty childish.

    Oh, and mark me down for opera/classical, alternative, singer/songwriter, country, broadway, rock and (gasp!) MoTab. Mack Wilberg is a genius (not an exaggeration) with his contemporary arrangements of both religious and secular works. His arrangement of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is a masterwork that has gained international acclaim within the choral world. I’m not embarrassed to be a fan.

    • Actually Erin, it wasn’t meant as a swipe at the church, and I don’t see it that way at all (nor do I think we do that with every poll). If anything it was a swipe at the culture, which I’ll admit I don’t always resonate with, and it was more a way of infusing humor for an LDS audience, so my apologies if that’s not your brand (my husband thought it was funny, though I’ll admit we recently heard a youth in our ward praised for only listening to MoTab, so it was on our minds)

      And I don’t dislike the Choir in general. I love good choral music and have had some powerful spiritual experiences with a couple of their pieces.

      • I saw it as the attempt for some humor you intended it as, Corktree. It made me laugh. I grew up listening to the MoTab and have a couple of their Christmas albums. They’re not my favorite choral group and I prefer classical choral music to the kind of music the MoTab generally does, but I do enjoy going to listen to them practice some Thursday evenings here in SLC.

      • I think that’s unfortunate that a youth in your ward was praised for listening only to MoTab. That sounds so narrow minded. I get teaching youth to choose selectively for appropriate lyrics and such, but there’s so much worthwhile stuff out there to be enjoyed. I enterpret that youth’s decision as saying, “only Mormons can produce worthwhile material” and that is just wrong.

  4. I just realized I forgot to add “New Age”, which I guess could go under “World” but not really. I sometimes really like nature sounds and meditation music with flutes and gongs to help with my interaction with the world, but I’m not sure where that fits.

  5. Bring it on! Judge me. Right now. (Neener neener… I was Country when Country Wasn’t Cool… Country is for driving with the windows down singing at the top of your lungs)

    I like Country, Bluegrass, Gospel, Classical, New Age, World. I tend toward choral and instrumentals, too. Sat at an outdoor concert yesterday and enjoyed Highland Rock & Roll (Angus Mohr- bagpipes with electric guitars and drums).

    I still embarrass myself by not quite knowing who or what this U2 or Aerosmith or Grateful Dead stuff is I’ve heard people talk about. If it weren’t for my kids’ Rock Band, I don’t think I’d ever have known the names or groups of some of the music from my high school years back in the late 70s and 80s.

    Typical tracks on the MP3 player, though, are George Winston, Mannheim Steamroller, Carter Family, Alan Parsons, Alison Krause, Peter Kater, Karen Carpenter, Joe Negri, Jon Schmidt, Kathy Mattea, Alabama, Gladys Knight, Chad Woolner, Inside Out, Jenny Oaks Baker, David Arkenstone, Joe Raposo.

  6. I don’t judge others by their tastes in music, but I’m always certain others are judging me by my lack of taste! (I like a little of everything and none the best of its type.)

  7. The other night a friend posted a classical piece on FB so then I got all distracted and wasted an hour on iTunes exploring. I have several albums of Yo-Yo Ma and can I just say how impressed I am by him? On iTunes I learned that he has at least 140 albums. And in several different genres. Some of the albums of his that I have are in Baroque, Tango, Appalachian, and another classical one, but I’m not sure what subgenre it is…but he has also done Chinese and traditional Japanese music amongst others. Pretty amazing, in my opinion.

    I also tend to listen to singer/songwriter music. Some of my favorites are Nick Drake, Hem, The Weepies, Regina Spektor…I could go on. There’s a lot of great stuff out there. I’m also currently dealing with a mild obsession with Hawaiian music. Some of it is incredibly beautiful. Life is too interesting to listen only to the most popular/famous artists out there. Sometimes I just don’t get how certain artists (think J.Lo, Beyonce, etc.) have been so successful financially when there is so much better quality music by smaller artists. Maybe it’s just a difference in opinion that I have.

  8. Mostly 70s classic rock. I enjoy some of the new stuff that I my kids listen to. Check out the Wicked Tinkers if you like Celtic music. They play at our Highlands Festival every year and are fabulous.

  9. To paraphrase Duke Ellington: There are two types of music in this world…good and bad.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that music and food share a lot in common when it comes to issues like”taste” and “quality.” French chefs may have no use for greasy diners, just like opera connoisseurs may have no use for hip hop, but all of the above can be offered and experienced in ways that may verge on transcendent in certain circumstances.

    I categorically exclude raw broccoli and commercialized country music from the above statement, however 😉

    Random album recommendation: Tin Hat Trio “Book of Silk.” Run, don’t walk…you can thank me later.

  10. I didn’t choose country music cause I don’t actively listen to it much anymore. But there’s a lot of great country music out there, not just the slick commercialized stuff. And I really don’t see how anyone can say they listen to pop or even some of what gets classified as rock and then sneer at country. Two sides of the same coin.

    Mostly I’m a classic rock, singer/songwriter, or alternative kind of girl. But I also know classical music inside out, think opera captures raw human emotion and passion more powerfully than any other art form, and dabble in jazz (I know big band pretty well and some vocalists but I’m definitely still exploring).

    I don’t care for a lot of religious music for the same reason I don’t care for a lot of pop music–it’s just too often a too superficial treatment of something that’s too meaningful to me to take lightly. If I’m going to go with religious music, it’s going to be classical, gospel (preferably of the Negro Spirituals variety), or hymns.

    Fun to see people’s different tastes. Thanks, Corktree!

  11. I’m always a little embarrassed to say that I really love classical music in all its sub-genres. People seem to think I’m a snob, but really, that’s what I grew up with. My dad loved opera and Mom loved orchestral. My current favorites are 19th and 20th century choral works. This afternoon I went to an organ recital at our local Catholic cathedral. They have a truly amazing organ and the organists to match it. It seemed the perfect way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon.

  12. I like a lot of music, but rock most of all. I added “Folk” under the “Other” option. I don’t listen to a ton of it, but I do enjoy it every once in a while, but also answered Rock, Alternative and something else, I think.
    Lately I have really been enjoying The Decemberists and Florence + The Machine as well as Death Cab for Cutie. The Beatles were my first band, though; I had a greatest hits tape that I played on my Walkman when I was a kid 🙂 I also really like David Bowie and Queen.
    I would like to get into jazz, but I don’t know where to start.

  13. Is there an “I like it all” category? Cuz…I do. I have a music collection that would make all of Sybil’s personalities proud, including, yes, country and rap.

    As an aside, music informs everything I write. If I have nothing that “goes with” the feel of a story I’m writing, everything halts while I actively go looking.

    And I have successfully indoctrinated my children into the Gospel of Earth, Wind, and Fire. On to Carl Orff and Motley Crue…

  14. I’m an Indie girl. Wrote music reviews for an online indie magazine…love things like Ingrid Michaelson, Great Lake Swimmers, Old 97s, Belle & Sebastian, Of Montreal, The Decemberists, Feist, New Pornographers, Wilco, Iron & Wine, Avett Brothers….I could go on and on too.

    However, some days I just gotta blast me some Puccini.

  15. I like a variety of of music. I’ve gone to Petula Clark Concerts. I like most of the 1970’s classic rock. It’s interesting that one of the most profound statements about religious hypocrisy can from a Jim Croce song:

    “You say you love the baby
    Then you crucify the man”

    I am disappointed with the perpetual enunciation troubles that MoTab has. Yes, some Rock & Pop also has that issue, as well.

    The most stirring rendition of “Be Still My Soul” I’ve heard was a simple rendition by a family:

  16. I just came across this old article and it had me laughing. I usually listen to music when I’m doing my laundry. Now I have to set the scene for you. In my laundry matt at one end people are listening to novellas. At the other end Asian soap operas. So, here I am a white lady listening to my music on my head phones and I’m listening to Gospel music from Donnie Mclurkin. So, I’m singing and I didn’t realize how loud I was and this woman came up to me and gave me a dollar, I guess she thought I was pan handling, or maybe she was trying to get me to shut up, I’m still not sure which.

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