Jim Mathis

Monday, June 29, 2009

Music listening

Though I haven’t done any hard research, I’ve been doing some guessing and casual surveys about the way people relate to music.

I have heard that 90% of the population listens to music a little, but are not interested enough to listen to even one song all the way through without talking or thinking of something else. These are the people who buy records and go to concerts. It is extremely hard to get and keep their attention because they really don’t understand music or even care that much. This is the challenge for performers in a nut shell.

Less than 10% of the population are musicians, or musically inclined enough that they like a variety of genre’s and can identify tempos, chord changes, etc. About 3% of the people can play a musical instrument.

The weird part to me is that there is another group, maybe 10% of the total, that doesn’t like music at all. These people never listen to music on the radio, don’t own a CD player or tape machine, and believe that music detracts from the movies or a worship service. I know people that cannot name one song or one performer by name.

So that’s the gamut as near as I can tell. The listening experiences by population would look like a bell curve with musicians on one tail and the music haters on the other, with the big majority in the middle centered round the people who only like one style of music or a limited number of pop artists.

What is your experience?