use and enjoyment
By now you, being the astute crowd you are, have probably gathered that I listen to music obsessively. I have speakers in my woods so we can listen to music at the fire-pit. I have speakers in my bathrooms, I wear headphones 40 hours a week at work, I listen in the car, I listen while I cook. I have a Spotify playlist of songs I have listened to 100 times in a row (which can take a couple of days if the song is longer) - this playlist now represents MONTHS of my life.
Chalk it up to (what I perceived as) a music-deprived childhood. My dad doesn't really listen to music anymore, and my mother likes things quiet. We had a limited selection of music available to us, but plenty of classical and Celtic folk, both of which I still enjoy. Instrumentals were vastly preferred, without too much of a beat. My brief foray into Italian pop music (which was okay because we didn't speak Italian) was curtailed when I brought home a disc by Eros Ramazotti, roughly the Italian equivalent of Rob Thomas. This was frowned upon, because if someone glanced at the disc casually, they might think it said erotic! Good heavens. Can't have that. I think he was shirtless on the liner notes too. I got rid of it years later, when I lost interest in bad Italian pop music. This was, however, BEFORE I lost interest in bad French pop music, which is much more fun. I can't remember if that was before or after the trip to the library at age 17 where I surreptitiously borrowed Simon & Garfunkel's "Live in Central Park" and inadvertently left it playing in the car. One of the 'rents got in the car and heard them "SINGING ABOUT MARIJUANA" and then I had to take that CD right straight back to the library. I still love that record, by the way.
Understand: I'm not picking on my parents. Their choices in the music department had partly to do with the church culture we were involved in at the time. Given what my brother and I listen to now... well, they're probably still distressed. We both took music lessons for years - piano and voice for me, guitar and then drums for him. We're both musicians, him more professionally than me, but there's no way around it. Our relationship with music is vastly different from the way our parents relate to it. I mention all this as necessary backstory to the fact that I still have the occasional twinge of "should I really be enjoying this secular music so much?"... I think the short answer is probably yes. For that matter, I love religious music (masses, choral works, liturgical stuff, good hearty hymns - our local Catholic radio station is fantastic), but don't enjoy 99% of the contemporary catalog. These tastes played a big part in me switching to Lutheran, but that's another story.
I still advocate for educating your taste, in all things - food, drink, music, film. It is important to know what is worthy and what is cheap. I'm not saying that only religious music is worthy. I'm reading Augustine's "On Christian Doctrine" and I'm in the part where he gets into the division of use and enjoyment. It's so much to take in. I read Ruskin as a teenager (I didn't have many friends, it's okay) - here's a good overview of his theories on beauty (in painting, mostly, but it applies to all media, I think). This no doubt has a lot to do with why I don't enjoy much of modern art, but I'll stop digressing here and just say, in my opinion, good music is to be used AND enjoyed, let the chips fall where they may, I'll argue with Augustine about it in the resurrection...