And my personal favorite, “blasphemer.”
In Islam, music is an extremely controversial issue. There are people on both sides of the extreme, from the very conservative “only Qur’an recitation is permitted” to the very liberal “listen to whatever you like and play it very loudly.” Having been raised surrounded by music, having sung in a choir in my youth (until I learned that I could not sing to save my life, but that is something else all together), and currently being married to a hip hop artist, I tend to fall on the liberal side of the musical fence. Life without some form of music would be, to me, very dull. However, if for some reason I am unable to listen to the beat, I am still capable of reading about it.
I am now the proud owner of this book. It’s big. It’s heavy. It’s a small piece of metal heaven. Biographical sketches, full color pictures, a listing of the best albums and songs… Lovely. Even though I’m still learning the difference in all the sub-genres, I know that there are songs I like that fall into every category. Industrial has Nine Inch Nails, Electronic has Emilie Autumn’s “I Want My Innocence Back.” My musical taste, however, is not limited to the entire rock/metal catalog. My last.fm station is all over the place – from opera to country to rap. I imagine myself to be an open-minded individual. (I could be wrong.) I grew up with my mother’s Motown records, I came of age with with rap and reggae, I “discovered” jazz once I began to mature, and as my writing started the evolutionary process, rock became my personal soundtrack.
Music, for some people, is like air – necessary for survival. And let’s face it, there is music no matter where you look. Nature has some of the most soothing sounds. Laughter is considered music. The heartbeat of the one you love is music. Yet you will always find those that zero in on a certain genre or sound and deem it inappropriate for public (read as “youth”) consumption. Every generation, for good or bad, attempts to protect the next generation by outlawing or limiting exposure to whatever is new and untested. The ones that do not approve of rap and metal, their parents did not approve of rock n’ roll, and their parents did not approve of ragtime and jazz. I am sure that, somewhere, there was a group of parents trying their best to run Mozart out of town.
So, for all those that give me the side-eye for listening to “strange” music, I will say this: someone, somewhere, hates your music choices, too. You have the freedom to choose what to listen to, and the right to decide who you are going to be.