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Not With The Band: A New Poll About Music Reveals Nothing And Worst

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We can presume that 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair have a large audience, thus this poll about music, done just 2 weeks ago, should represent a large portion of the population, right? At least they seem to present it like this, but the results are totally surprising or are they?

They asked diverse questions about music consumption, music tastes and the state of music, but overall the results seem to show that little has changed since… your grandparents’ time? Let’s see: How do you most often listen to music? 49% the radio? I had a hard time to believe this one, and this revealed right away the age of the people who answered this survey, what about 50s-60s old guys and gals? Probably. Digital music service comes in second but only at 17%. Jazz or hip hop: Which is more important? Of course, an overwhelming majority (73%) picked jazz. Which musical form has reached its peak? Predictably, 50% picked rap/hip hop and only 20% picked country despite the fact you have to be deaf to not notice a clear redundancy of the genre since at least 10 years. 10% only chose rock, meaning many don’t think we have seen the end of it. Of course 64% think a song sounds best when sung in English, 33% picked The Beatles as the artist they would want their child to study (against 32% for Mozart), and only 085% would pick Jay Z. 42% think we are experiencing the worst decade of music, the best decade was obviously the 70s – curiously the 60s were not proposed. The bands people would like to see if they could go back in time would be Buddy Jolly & the Crickets, Queen and Jimi Hendrix (22-21%), and 39% of the moms would like to see Taylor Swift with their daughter against 26% for Katy Perry and only 5% for Miley Cyrus. Haaaa, the safe and nice Taylor!

What can we say? The majority of people (who bother to vote) are white, at least middle-age and have at best very conventional and stereotyped tastes in music.  They still perceive rap as dangerous/bad taste/vulgar/sexist/gangster/too black? And they are not ready to be adventurous in music: 26% still think the sexiest instrument is the guitar, 25% the sax, 21 %the piano, whereas 29% would prefer to be the lead singer and 27% the drummer of a rock band.

This made me think a lot about polls and how medias use them to make us believe false ideas about music. Nothing is said about the people who took the poll but CBS presents the results as ‘the music poll’, despite the fact that the results are full of clichés with a predominance for the white guy playing guitar in a rock band which covers the Beatles… I love the Beatles but this is the face of today’s music? Are they kidding me? Have they been out lately? Have they been to any music festival? Do they know that Dr. Dre and  Jay Z, two rappers, are the ones making the most money in music? Do they know that EDM largely dominates rock at any festival? I wonder whether CBS is aware of this, and if it is the case why they even bothered to publish such outdated results. Most people listened to streaming services, Youtube, or download music, they have seen way beyond the white guy playing guitar… there are so many genres now we can’t keep up with the categories, bands are blurring frontiers and there is no way we are living in the worst decade… music has never been more diverse, and the world of music more complex, adventurous and global. We experience influences from all over the world and if you have heard of Bjork, Omar Souleyman or Baaba Maal, just to name a few, you know what I am talking about. Still CBS and Vanity Fair want us to believe this poll is the state of mind of music lovers and Vanity Fair is even analyzing it as if it was the new bible… Who are they fooling?

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