About your music collection

In searching the archives I'm not sure I've found anything pertaining to member's descriptions of their music collections and feelings about it. I'm not trying to compile lists, rather a general description of the genres you most enjoy, and perhaps the emotional attachment you have to that music. What role does music play in your life, and does that say something about the person you are today? Also, is your love of music shared by others?

I have perhaps 2,000 lp's, 6,000 cd's, and still adding. I often feel this collection is entirely overwhelming, lack of storage space is becoming a concern. I also feel this is much more music than one needs, I have many purchases I've yet to play, and others I may not have listened to in years. Yet, I can't bear to let any of it go because you never know when I'm going to get the itch to play that particular record, serendipitous finds lead to the most enjoyable listening sessions.

My collection covers most genres of music, probably easier to describe what I don't have. I don't have much contemporary music, I find most contemporary music devoid of artistic involvement. It seems to be much more about business than art today, the authentic is becoming harder to find. On the other hand, perhaps I'm mistaken, it really is authentic, I just don't care for that particular authenticity. I suppose this is just one example of how music informs me, a commentary on contemporary society and culture.

Now, I don't want to leave the impression I don't like any contemporary music. There remains much that is vibrant and meaningful, perhaps 15-20% of my collection is of various genres of contemporary music. Having said that, I don't like hip hop/rap, contemporary country, pop or R&B, disco, Christian, smooth jazz, and I have very little techno or contemporary rock. As you can see, my no like list is entirely contemporary genres.

My likes extend all the way from depression era blues to the occasional techno cut. I have a particular fondness for music from the 50's to early 70's, perhaps 70% of my collection is of various genres during this period. Pop, folk, jazz, doo woop, R&B from the 50's, pop, rock, folk, jazz and soul from the 60's, pop, rock, folk, jazz and soul from the early/mid 70's. I also enjoy classical music, mostly medieval, renaissance and baroque.

Within these favorite genres, a few stand out above all others. I would say my favorite music is a rather distinct hybrid of traditional English folk/psychedelic/rock, bands like Fairport Convention, Horslips, Amazing Blondel, Magna Carta and Strawbs. My fantasy would be to have lived in renaissance era England with these bands giving concerts every weekend, an ancient hippie/bohemian esthetic!

I would have to say my favorite music elicits a sense of freedom and innocence in me. Living in a conformist world filled with so much responsibility and consequence is stiffling at times, musical excursions allow me time away from all that. There is also no conflict in my music listening time, seems there is way more contentiousness
in today's culture than need be.

It is the rare that I meet the person who enjoys music as much as I. Music mostly seems to be background noise for people today, it seems they listen to tons of it on Ipods, but are they really listening? Listening to me is immersion into alternative worlds created by thoughtful artists. Listening is the preoccupation, I can't enter these worlds while doing other tasks. Since my listening habits differ from the masses, I infer the music I listen to is different as well. This is emiprically evident by popular contemporary music, not my kind of music.

Someone brought up the subject of musical guilty pleasures the other day. I suspect much of the music I listen to is a sort of guilty pleasure, however, the guilt is not on my part. On the other hand, I sometimes feel judged guilty by certain people who find my music choices suspect. Without exception, every person who has perused my music collection has never heard of at least 50% of the artists. They just sort of give you this blank stare, the older folks ask for the 70's classic rock, the younger set scrounge for my rare techno or contemporary rock albums. When trying to introduce something new to them, the usual result is sleepiness or restlessness.

Based on my experiences, I'm really beginning to believe one has to be an audiophile to be a music lover. It may be one's music has to be reproduced with a high level of sonic excellence in order to attain love for the music. Your simply don't get the 'message' of the music without sonic excellence. Without sonic excellence one is too easily distracted by a whole host of outside stimuli. We see the ubiquitous multi-tasking when listening to lower resolution musical reproduction. It seems only the audiophile actually sets aside the time, and clears a space in the mind to absorb the 'message' of the music.
..i think your last paragraph sums it up nicely...nice post!!
Your description of your music collection sounds just like mine!
Although my collection is not as big, (1500 LPs- 1000 CDs.) Just last night I listened to an Elmore James- box set, then Nico's-The End, then Vivaldi's- Four Seasons and finished with Andromeda's- Definitive Collection. If you like it, then it is good music no matter what anyone says. HAVE FUN!!!! CHEERS!
I don't agree with your last paragraph. I know many musicians and almost none of them give a hoot about audio excellence. It's almost as if reproduced music is instantly transmuted from a passive experience to active participation as listening occurs and they are so into it they don't hear the reproduction anymore, it's all internalized. (Did that make any sense?) I've got other friends that have collections of music numbering in the thousands of cd's and lps, and their systems are modest beyond belief to most of us on this forum. Your generalization may have some relevance to people in general though.
Share! Especially the Cd's. Give them to some inner city library where they can inspire a kid.
I have found that many people don't know how good a stereo can sound. I have friends who had never really heard or owned anything above a basic system, despite their love for music as musicians in bands. When they heard my stereo, they were so impressed they went on to get a nice stereo for themselves as a result (others can't afford it yet but are planning on it). So I don't think only audiophiles get the message - it is simply that the message has to be delivered, and therein lies the rub.

For instance, I have heard lots of fancy and way more expensive stereos than mine that were unable to get the message across. Listening to those systems was such a superficial experience that I had no interest or desire to listen further. So I think some audiophiles don't even get, or care about, the message to begin with.

I was a music lover that was inspired by my parents' new Yamaha/Infinity stereo when I was like 14 years old. I've never had the knack for playing instruments so after a few years of sax and piano, I pretty much gave up to focus on musical reproduction instead. Even if I can't play, I can still enjoy the music.

Anyway, I listen to just about everything. I have about 1300 CDs so far and know pretty much all of them. They range from classical to techno to acoustic to metal to electronic, etc. I listen to whatever I feel like at any moment but when I put an album in my CD player, I generally listen to it in its entirety, and enjoy every minute of it.

Photon, I'll give you credit on the musician thing. I suppose they have their fill of the highest quality sonic experience, live music!

I'm unable to objectively define what is superior sonic reproduction for others. Perhaps people with tons of music and relatively lower resolution systems believe they are hearing high resolution, at the least, it must satisfy their sonic needs. I would still describe them as audiophiles if they listen, and only listen, to a dedicated audio system.

I'm not sure what to make of a home theatre situation. You have the distraction and/or immersion of the video, more senses are activated making for a rather different experience.

Arthur, I agree, there are likely thousands, if not tens of thousands of potential audiophiles out there. Undoubtedly, not all audiophiles are music lovers.

Finally, the primary point of my post is not to argue what constitutes a music lover, rather it is simply to elicit responses about the types of music you have in your collection, and how that music affects you and others.
"one has to be an audiophile to be a music lover"? How totally absurd,The music that gives me the most enjoyment is generally LP compilations of 20s or 30s 78 RPMs.Not what you'd call the audiophile experience.I have over 50,000 LPs,and am an audiophile only in the sense that the system I now have(Acoustat,Oracle,Audio Research and Music Reference) is a result of always wanting to hear the records better.When I'm in the garage sorting LPs I sometimes listen to 78s on an old AV school single ended tube player,and believe me if that was all that was left I wouldn't cry myself to sleep at night.In this life the biggest miracle in a world full of miracle and wonder is that it is possible to listen to the sound of another human being from nearly a hundred years ago sing or play what is in their soul.
The last word from me about what constitutes a music lover. I never said that only audiophiles can be music lovers, I said "based on my experiences, I'm really BEGINNING to believe one has to be an audiophile to be a music lover." Nothing is set in stone in my mind. I also listen to tons of crap sounding recordings, and I'm still an audiophile.
I am the opposite. I only buy artists that I absolutely love. I never buy before listening to the CD—most of the times I listen to ‘samples’ for several days and only then, if I don’t lose interest, do I buy. I might only add 2-3 new albums to my collection a month; however, these are albums that mean the world to me and I listen to on a regular basis.

My listening tastes are as follows…

Classical (Gregorian to Nyman)
Folk (Troubadour to Tiersen to Cohen)
Jazz (very little: mostly war-era with a smattering of contemporary vocal)
60’s & 70’s Rock (again, not a lot but enough to make the list)

When I buy an album I listen to it for several days. I create an emotional attachment to the album and I make sure I have a clear understanding of that particular piece of work. While my collection is less than 150 CD’s, I can honestly say that my connection with my collection is intimate.
Sns, you bring up some interesting points. I know where you are coming from, but speaking as a professional musician, many of us fully realize that no sound reproduction equipment, not even the very best audiophile quality stuff, can equal the sound of live music. Much as I like the magazine, there really is no such thing as an "absolute sound." This is why many musicians do not bother to pay for really good reproduced sound. Do I agree with that? No, I would call myself an audiophile. I bought the best sounding system I could afford (the vast majority of us musicians are certainly not wealthy!), and I collect recordings that I love to listen to.

Also, as I mentioned in another thread, we have to do so much critical listening all the time on the job and in the practice room, or listening to recordings for study purposes, that sometimes we are just too tired to listen critically to equipment as well - we just want to come home, put something on (usually not what we were just playing) and enjoy the music. Again, I myself like to do this on equipment that sounds great, and that is a big part of the pleasure for me. But a great many musicians (and regular folks, of course) can get alot of pleasure out of listening to crap recordings on a crap system. If we couldn't also get pleasure out of music, and be able to turn off the critical listening, we would go insane.

Casey 33 hits the nail on the head in his post - ultimately, if you are listening to the equipment instead of the music, as way too many audiophiles do, you are seriously missing the boat.
Proving again that there are many ways to get to heaven, my approach to new music is the polar opposite of Baroque lover's! I have a continual need for new music and I'll try almost anything. The internet is a great resource for discovering new music. If something seems interesting, you can generally find a clip or video that helps you make a decision. No more buying Blondie's "Plastic Letters" because Deborah Harry's legs looked great on the cover. (BTW, it's a great punk album.)

When I pull a record out it's fun to think about when and where I purchased it and also how life has changed since then. Trying new music leads me in unexpected directions. Stan Getz lead me to bossa nova and eventually to the Brazilian jazz pianist Chano Dominguez and to Marisa Monte, two of my favorites.

My listening moods are constantly and I'm willing to accept the occasional 'dud' purchased on an impulse. My collection is ~1800 records and ~700 CDs. My listening tastes are primarily jazz, rock/pop and Latin music. I recently received ~700 classical records from a college library and from a family member, so I'm starting to listen to them. I've also learned from experience to keep everything because who knows when I'll want to listen again. My teenage son is budding musician and I'm having tremendous fun rediscovering albums that I haven't heard in years. Who'd have thought I'd listen and enjoy AC/DC and Rush again?

I have one internal rule: I have to listen to a record at least five times before filing. If the yet to be filed shelf is full, I stop buying for a while.