Other than the essentials: sweet, salty, savory, our tastes are learned. And those learned tastes don’t apply to only flavors, they cover quite a bit of ground. I remember forcing myself to learn opera because I didn’t want to miss out on an entire catalog of music. Now, it is among my all time favorites.
Reproduced sound is also an acquired taste, though it’s one of the easiest to come by. If we hear a favorite form of music on a decent stereo system we’re immediately attracted. As well, there are few of us who don’t gravitate towards better within the category. But once we’re exposed to reproduced music a kind of standard is set up in our heads. Deviation from this new norm, even if it is technically better, is often met with difficulty.
I was raised on vinyl and when digital came around I was repulsed. Of course, in those early days I had every reason to run. Digital back then was nasty. But over time it’s gotten better to the point of more than just acceptance and now I find it hard to go back to vinyl.
The tough part of our quest for music’s enjoyment is the polarized nature of the two major mediums: vinyl and digital. Depending on what your acquired tastes for reproduced sound might be you’ve likely chosen one over the other. And that’s fine because knowing each is an acquired taste allows us the freedom to understand one isn’t necessarily better than the other.
Vanilla or chocolate can both taste good.