The music gap between the older and younger generation
Music is a universal language, but how universal exactly? The gap between the older and the younger generation may only be big because music is constantly developing over time.
Generally, many young people listen to the type of songs that is considered ‘loud’ and ‘full of nonsense’ by older people in their 40s and up. Teenagers and young adults are stereotyped to always keep up and listen to the newest trends in the music industry. On the contrary, the older generation are viewed as people who listen to slow classical songs, or music that was popular in their own time as young adults.
This difference between the two generations shows that music may not be a universal language after all, but to some extent older and younger people could also share similar tastes in music.
According to Zarah Akram, a majority of the students nowadays listen to EDM (Electronic Dance Music), intense rap or upbeat songs. She continued to share her views on music for young people: “I think rap and dance music is getting more popular nowadays because the sound effects have improved, and music encourages you to improve your mood and feel good.”
It is becoming more common for people to use music as a source of escape to their problems in life, especially young adults who are either going into the ‘real world’ or are studying for their degree. Zarah talked about how she herself would listen to music whenever she felt depressed, and then the energetic and upbeat sounds would bring her “positive vibe back”.
Another young adult named Rania Ahmed explained why she thought older people could not connect through music with the younger people. “I feel that in today’s society, artists enforce rebellion that appeals to the younger generation, because this generation of people are moving from being dependent to independent. That is why younger people relate to recent music more than older people.”
Rania also said how the older generation may be limited to popular music now, due to the lack of knowledge in new technology. “It’s easy to access new songs through places like apps on your phone. Spotify lets everyone listen to playlists and people can easily go through all the music that is being released. If people don’t use new technology, then they miss out.”
On the other hand, people from the older generation see music in a different light, as they feel that the change in music trends have caused a gap between different age groups, and it seems to be getting bigger between older and younger people.
A woman in her 50s, who would not like to be named, thought that the evolution of music is moving very quickly over time. “The black culture has had a big influence on rap and dance music. It’s becoming very trendy for young people. 40 years ago, disco was a popular music trend, and that’s what I still enjoy to this day.”
It seems that people are most receptive to music during their prime time from teenager to young adult life. This may be a big reason why older people may not enjoy recent music as they did in their younger years.
The different music taste between older and younger people can be connected to conformity to age groups. When young people get together, they are most likely to play music that is most recent and popular. However, when older people gather, they most likely put on music for reminiscence of their younger days.
For most people, there may be some pressure to conform to what their own age group is listening to. In society, people may find it odd to see an elderly person enjoying EDM or pop music. Because of this, people from the public may feel safer and accepted to listen to music their friends are also listening to.