Music acquisition over time

Birthdays tend to be a time of introspection for me. I find that I use my birthday in place of the normal New Year’s inward glance. That time of year is just to hectic to adequately ponder anything. And those eggnog hangovers are a serious impediment to clear thought anyways.

This year I was thinking about how people’s awareness and interest in new music wanes as they age. There seems to be some point at which musical preferences become “set”. To me, this is incredibly depressing. Can we not enjoy the discovery of new things past a certain age?

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who likes to hear and learn about new music. To gauge if that is really true, I plotted the number of albums in my collection against the release date of the album. The raw data is displayed at the bottom of this blog.

As you can see, the number of albums for the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s is pretty static – I have about 50 from each year. Still, that’s pretty good considering that I was born in 1970. 1983 is clearly the year that I started to become more musically aware; my sights have largely been set on acquiring music from the post 1983 era. The number of albums in the collection for each year throughout the 80s gradually grows, reflecting the birth of the Indie scene. The late 90s are heavily represented in my collection.

A troubling decline …
However, 2000, 2001, 2002 exhibit a disturbing trend. I have a declining number of albums in each of those years! What is happening? Am I losing interest in new music? Perhaps. The generic crap that the music industry is foistin\g on us (Spice Girls, Brittney, N’Sync(?)) holds no interest for me. It’s disposable music that, for god knows whatever reason, some people actually like. Of course none of these people are actually musicians or actually have any talent. And when they perform, where are their bands? Just a whole bunch of choreographed dancing?

Unfortunately, I don’t have data that shows when these albums were acquired, which would be an interesting gauge of either my lack of material wealth or musical interest over time. Then I could also plot the acquisition of diiferent musical genres as a function of time! Yeah! That would be so cool!

Raw Data: Todd’s music collection by album release date

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