Why do we stop listening to new music as we get older?

Hello all,

Sometimes I find myself wondering why there is so little newer music in my library. Now, before you start in with rants about "New music is terrible!", I found this rather interesting article on the topic. (SFW)


With the maturing of streaming as a music delivery platform, and the ease of being able to surf new artists and music, it might be time to break my old listening habits and find some newer artists.

Happy listening. 



Who's 'we'. Personally, since I've gotten bored with assembling the latest/greatest audio system and have maxed out set up of what I have, what's left but music to explore? :-)

Many stop listening to more contemporary music because they are just not interested in exploring past what they already know and like. Nothing wrong with that.

In my own case, I like to hear contemporary music and I am behind by many years on way too much, but that's on me, not on the contemporary music being created. And also, there is just so much more of it than there was a few decades ago! 

I think the advent of streaming services has indeed helped to expose older listeners to new music…That’s been my experience at 66 yrs. old anyway.  I recently put together a playlist on Tidal that I entitled “Modern Music that Paw Paw Likes” 😂.  No hardcore Rap is represented there I’m afraid but one of Lady Gaga’s latest albums is there as is a couple of hours worth of tunes I took a shine to while perusing Tidal’s “New Arrivals” category….I can’t remember the other artists names to save my life.  Another aspect of this is that, thru music streaming services, I’ve learned (slightly to my chagrin!) that I’m a fan of Jazz, first and foremost, rather than the half-ton-stack of the Pop/Rock music I amassed on physical media pre-streaming and which I grew up with.  My theory is that being limited to physical media vs having access to a streaming service plays a significant part in whether one gets “stuck” in familiar musical genres.

I listen to a lot of new music via a great local NPR station (over airwaves).

Streaming services have also helped me discover old "new" music. Especially, 70’s soul and funk.


Streaming has opened my eyes to new music and artists I never would have heard, it’s a whole new frontier. 

My nephew and I share and swap new music all the time. Conversely, I rarely add new recordings of "old" music to my library.

Yeah, there have been several studies that show that the vast majority of people stop discovering new music around the age of 30. Some say 33.

The most likely reason, is that from about one's mid teens up through their mid to late 20's, people are experiencing some of the best times of their lives. And the music they and their peer group listen to, becomes the "soundtrack of the best times of their lives". New loves, great wild parties with friends, going away to school, newly discovered independence, etc, etc, all with the music of their time playing while it is all going on.

Their experiences become inseparable from the music.

Music that comes after that time period of their lives, even if it is qualitatively no worse (or no better), does not have the same kind of connection. It is 'only music' now, it is not their soundtrack.

I actually have hardly any nostalgic feelings connected to music at all. I am never trying to relive my youth through music.  For me, music lives or dies based on its own musical merits. Either it has the attributes I love in music, or it doesn't.




I'm way too comfortable with my old blues music and don't do much exploring of new music, only occasionally.New arrangements of old music is interesting though.

 I can’t agree with this at all!

I’m older and I still like looking for and listening to new and new to me music. Heck, that’s the main reason I bought a streamer.

I am constantly finding new music. I occasionally play an album from my collection. 

The amount of new music has escalated exponentially since my streaming / digital side sounds as good as my vinyl.

I agree that most people here listen to the same old genre of music. Some people are stuck in Heavy Metal, which I don’t get, or the Stones..etc.. which I don’t get. When I was born, TV sets were 9-12” and only one person in the neighborhood had one. I like a lot of new music, but when I post about it, few respond and those that do like music from the sixties..etc. So, I agree that most people are set in their listening preferences and in my opinion, that is their loss.

I have been listening to a lot of Korean music and some of it is great. The videos are amazing due to some extraordinary choreography and insane dance skills. I like singles artist, most recently BiBi, who’s song “Weekend” was the highest Korean solo artist release in the US. BiBi is fluent in English and some of her songs are in English, but even the Korean songs have English refrains.. IU, is not only drop dead gorgeous and has a lot of great music, but some of it is just too girlie for me. Her backstory is amazing and her persistence can teach any of us lessons. A newer up and coming group is Txt (Tomorrow x Together) and they have some nice stuff, but in the US people only know BTS and they aren’t even together. Billie Eilish is another pretty impressive performer. Her most recent album, Happiness is very good…just ask Juan @blisshifi .. sorry for outing you Juan. I like “Sour” an album by Olivia Rodrigo. I have Eilish and Rodrigo on record. Lots of modern country is trash, but some of it is just great..an example might be some music by Morgan Wallen. I don’t know what genre it is but “Human” by Rag’n Bone Man is pretty impactful. Some of the editor’s choice on Quboz are really good. Indila is a French singer and worth a listen. Try her album “Indila”. Old genre, but newer artist, try Japanese jazz pianist Yuko Mabuchi.. some great 45rpm record sets.. Lots of different sounds out there. None of these artist produce music that is stellar across their musical careers, some like Wallen produce so much music that something is bound to be good. All of it is worth a listen and no, a few songs chosen at random don’t necessarily represent what any of these artist bring to us. Some have many different styles. Take a look at the marathon threads regarding what people are playing tonight and see the same old “me too” stuff over and over, but hidden there are some great new artists/music.

Wow this has been a delightful conversation! Lot of interesting comments and suggestions for new music. Thank you!

I gave it some thought and started wondering what defines "new music" in the context of this conversation? Is it chronologically new or new to the listener? For instance, while I really enjoy "Boomer rock" the past couple of years I've discovered bee-bop. So I've been worshipping at the church of St. Miles, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, etc. 

So maybe I'm not stuck in the "past" as I'm listening to "new to me" music? 😉

Happy listening. 

Hey @musicfan2349 

If you are "worshipping at the church of St. Miles, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, etc. " that is great. It's old music that is new to you.

I hope you also look into some of the newer jazz artists --  you know, the ones who are still alive and making music now. Appreciating some of that music may involve actively keeping an open mind (and ears) but I hope you will find it worthwhile.

A few, and not necessarily better than others:

  • Tyshwan Sorey
  • Jack DeJohnette (still playing at 80)
  • James Brandon Lewis
  • Matthew Shipp
  • Jane Ira Bloom

It is definitely an effort to learn what's new and find what can excite one, as well as to open one's ears to the unaccustomed, as we get old(er). For this music lover, it's well worth it.

I feel sorry for people who don't try new music, whether it's just new to them, new to the music genre, or a totally new music/artist. I'm lucky, I get help from my 10 year old niece to listen to new stuff. Stay connected to young people, it keeps you from being a crotchy old guy.

I think Taylor Swift is fantastic and will rank up there with the great Jazz/Pop singers and song writers. "No Body-No Crime" is as good as any Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen song. I could image even Bob Dylan writing a version of it.

And there is very good hip hop regardless of some people just absolutely hating it without trying to listen and understand it. Just the same as my Dad hating rock and roll ("Just a bunch of screaming, complaining and banging on drums" -- which also seems to be the complaints I hear about Hip-Hop today), he also saw no value in Elvis and the Beatles. "Give me real music" he'd say. My mother told me a story about how much my grandma hated Sinatra. "Evil music" she'd say to my Mom. My Mom and her sisters then skipped school one day and saw him sing in NYC when she was a teenager.

It's important to remember that searching out new music always takes a little time and effort.

It's all too easy to find good music at the start of your journey (be it via cassette, 45, LP, CD or the internet) but as time goes by, the searching will inevitably reap fewer and lesser rewards.

Take for example the world of popular music.

Once you've explored the back catalogues of the likes of Elvis, Buddy Holly, Phil Spector, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Dylan, Donovan, Bacharach, ISB, the Doors, the Velvet Underground, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, ELO, Bowie, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, Bob Marley, Sex Pistols, Joy Division, Springsteen, the Smiths, R.E.M. Morrissey etc it gets progressively more and more difficult to find the same quality of 'musical hit' that initially fuelled your drive towards this wonderful journey of musical exploration.  


Anyone familiar with US and UK singles chart history from 1954 to 2023 will understand that it was those earliest decades, particularly between 1960 and 1980 were the best hunting grounds for classic songs.

Songs that may well be timeless.

I haven't given up on new popular music being made today but neither am I prepared to put much of my increasingly more precious time and effort in towards exploring it: not when the musical bang per buck for me is so pitifully low in comparison to what's already gone before.

As we keep reminding ourselves, this should mainly all be about enjoyment, shouldn't it?


really? I’m in my 50s and still digging for new music daily to the point of totally forgetting classic rock and most of golden age jazz. Not only digging, but enjoying as well. Audiophiles are totally different story. They can get stuck on just 4...5 albums and never go beyond.

I’m a Boomer who considers discovering new music one of the joys of this hobby. Streaming new titles on my Amazon Music subscription makes this pursuit easy and risk free. I also consult AllMusic.com to help research new artists, albums and musical genres that I am unfamiliar with. It’s also a great tool to explore the back catalogues of artists I already know.

I have a habit of trying out new/unfamiliar material that Qobuz puts on their home page (or is my personal home page thanks to their sneaky algorithms?). It's kind of like it was when I maniacally listened to AM...and then FM...pop radio.

OP, …”I gave it some thought and started wondering what defines "new music" in the context of this conversation?”.

For me, music I never heard before.  I started in the 60’s and 70’s with rock… then discovered Jazz, (stopped listening to rock) the jazz fusion, the classical, then world, world fusion… I’m sure a few more. About 20 years ago I added rock back in to the mix occationally.


Now I listen to new albums as they are released on Qobuz in most genera. I skip hip hop and rap. So, my horizons are ever increasing. If I find an album I like I will work backwards in their history if the have one… and try “similar” bands. I probably listen to 70 % music I never heard of two years ago. Some from the 1950’s most from the last decade or two.

Here's the great thing about streaming not only do I discover new music I also discover old music cause if I haven't heard it then it's new to me!

As our system does get better so do we get better in exploring more musical horizons. That could translate in rediscovering what we already thought we knew well, discover that we get interested also to different genres of music or even search more from decades gone. So in a way lots of new music there.

On the other hand if you don’t listen to certain hour zones on FM, works for me as i am not into streaming, or go out visiting the record stores, for searching, asking, then you are getting slower. Tip always socialize with younger people.

Because obtuse folks refuse to open up their musical horizons. They miss so much.

@newbee +1

Who is this "we?"

That said, sometimes it takes a while for the wheat to be separated from the chaffe, to see what stands up over time instead of being an unsubstantial "fizzle"... so the efficient thing is to give it a few years and see what’s still around.

It’s kind of like movies or TV shows or books for that matter... you can try to "keep up" with every new release, or you can wait a while and then use your time more efficiently to delve into the ones whose quality rises above.

Some people like being endlessly "up to date" and try to follow every fad. Others, like myself, don’t really care about up to date and allow the sands of time to erode off the weak structures. There’s too much quality stuff that I haven’t explored, even some hundreds of years old, to waste time on the haystack of new junk continually being marketed. I’ll wait for a few years anyway for the wind to blow away the lightweight hay and for the needles or nails to be left grounded for easier pickings.

Define "new". I am still unsealing records and listening for the first time. The fact that the music was written 1000 years ago is irrelevant (to me).

As for newly composed music, it is mostly heavily marketed, and there is a reason for that - it's disposable and/or derivative. Like plastic cups of coffee-coloured hot water.

I'm 68 and do not care for "most" of the contemporary popular music I've sampled via Youtube and cable TV.

On the flip side I just watched "Marcel The Shell With Shoes On" and liked it.



Today, in no particular order I listened to a Dvorak symphony, something by Chris Brubeck, Taylor Swift and David Chesky. Everything but the symphony was new music to me.

Who is “we”? I just added a dozen new releases to my library yesterday, with most being MQA releases. Using Roon, it’s very easy to find  new releases for a particular artist


Two words.  Getting Old.

When I'm driving and scan thru the radio stations, I can't get into the music I hear.  I then stop at HPR (Hawaii's NPR) and listen to the wonderful news of the world.  My "new" music comes from Sampler cd's and random browse Spotify.  If I hear an artist I like, I'll go from there.  My brother and I used to laugh and my dad for things he did.  He warned us "one of these days you're going to....".  Well, just like my dad I have three different glasses, grunt when I stand up, walk slowly on my bad knees, stand up to get something, take 5 steps and forget what that something was!  

Yup, getting old.  Grandchildren, Senior citizens card. Hair thinning.  I'm even considering taking my septum ring out!


Speak for yourself! 

I'm close to 70 and though I love my favorites from over the years, exploring new musical frontiers is one of the best things about being happy with one's system and using a streamer.

I love discovering " new to me " music!!! Before I started streaming, most of my new music came from seeking out World Music fm radio shows.......afew years ago, my teenage daughter staring watching Kpop on her computer....well to stay connected to her, I joined in....and found a few gems among the pop.....in fact I discovered a style of new Korean music, which is a modernization, of ancient Korean Shamanistic songs....check out Lee Nal Chi ....( start with " The Tiger is Coming" video on youtube)

As a 60 year old I listen to mostly jazz now which I only discovered 3-4 years ago.  As for contemporary music, not so much.  That’s a shame, those vintage jazz records don’t come cheap! 😂

For the same reasons many have stated already I would say that more than half of the music I listen to are titles that have either been just released or are recommended recordings that are new to me. I audition new music via streaming services and if I like it I buy it.

@kingsleuy Nice post!


I guess because old music or even new music that sounds like older music fits into an impression created by the music that shaped us as we grew up and matured. "new" stuff is going to be different; thus, we’re going to reject it as alien and different. That’s human nature.

Having said that, I love my Tidal "New Releases" folder as well as exploring the new releases in each genre each week. Some I like some I despise; most are forgettable. But there’re always gems to find.

I decided when I started listening to talking heads and Elvis Costello and turned away from my old faves, led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, yes etc, they I would always look for new music. And I have kept that promise to myself. Got tickets for Taylor Swift. Pudding cool, a website that will trash your listening habits, asks me if I've ever heard any music before 2019. That's not completely true as Pink Floyd stays in my regular rotation. 




I wish I started streaming earlier.   I got a Bluesound Vault in '19 and it totally changed the way I listened to music.    So many great artists I missed out on for years.  

The great thing about streaming is that I can listen to an artist and if I really like it I will buy it.   My last few LPs were records I discovered on Qobuz 

I found the opposite, I’m 37 and have always been searching for new music, even before streaming I would use YouTube to search. Streaming has made it so much easier that it has increased the genres I listen to with the only back step being I don’t listen to rap anymore. What I have found is I actually also search through ‘old’ music, jazz, classical etc, genres I never used to enjoy but now do. Finding new music is my favourite past time and adds exponential value to my hifi system. 

@dekay .....MTSWSO will Kill....(...start collecting shells...*L*)

'Cute' stuff like that can make one 'noid of inannimate things...appolgise to the countertop composed of ancient seashells....😏

I refuse to age gracefully, if only on some sort of principal.

Enjoy all sorts of mixtapes, X v. Y v. Z stuff...  Thinking of getting into a reserved sort of shuffle dancing to stay nimble....one step ahead is good. ;)

Like to work while listening to UNKLE stuff of late, nice long stuff in the background..  Enjoy the Walsh or dive into the 'phones....

I’ve been a professional musician since the 60’s and I hear new music all the time. I don’t like hippity hop much but I’m not the target audience for that anyway and it’s not "musical" enough for my attention span so..meh...Get out to the "folkie" or jazz clubs to see what’s what in the real music world. I fell into small venue sound mixing maybe 20 years ago and was floored at how superb people are in the "unpopular music business," many of whom are far better than the pop stars you may hear. Far better. I don’t privately listen to many of these people as I’m a jazz freak and my tastes have gone in that direction mostly...classical also...but that’s what might happen when your taste matures or takes a turn. New jazz (and old jazz) is astonishing and as good as ever, and that can keep my interest for the rest of my days...as does a new guitar here and there.

I usually limber up with a few tracks from the 1960s and 70s for nostalgic reasons and then broaden into the latest tunes when enjoying music for an evening (which is more or less every evening). Having two young adult daughters has really expanded my musical enjoyment, i listen to bands i would normally never know about and there is some fantastic stuff out there. Not sure i entirely get their love of Taylor Swift but at 60 i guess i’m not supposed to! We have fun every year sharing our Spotify ‘most played’ - we all have really diverse tastes which is great for sharing.

I read the article, thanks for link.


I had noticed that all of my friends musical tastes seem to have got stuck in the era of their youth. My dad only had 5 records, all by the Beatles, and he only really liked 3 of those.


I would like to argue that my love of HiFi has had the side effect of keeping my musical taste buds fresh.

When I was young, my system was a means to an end, it was cheap gear, but it let me play “my” music. Then, once I got a job, and was earning money, I got into the kit itself. I bought better gear. I would use my music to show off my kit. I started buying audiophile records, some of which sounded amazing (in a Hi-Fi-show-off way), and I slowly came to like the actual music itself. This is how I came across classical music and jazz. I now listen to such stuff for enjoyment.

Admittedly I could never get into some of the weebly plinky plonky demo tracks one hears at shows, but the hobby did introduce me to new stuff.

Over the last decade, HiFi lead me to modern electronic music. Again I started buying/playing it because it made my system sound amazing, but again, I came to love the best of it. There really is some fantastic new music out there.

Yet I never see the good new stuff in HiFi magazines. Could we use this forum to swap pointers to good new stuff?

The music I listen to is reflecting the mental place I‘m in, mostly. At some point high-energy music for venting feelings was what I needed. I experience much less need to delve into - for example - frustration and sadness nowadays. Now the music is more open and outgoing or calmer and relaxed. Styles come second so to speak. This change is gradual and I‘m not sure what will be next but it definitely and naturally keeps me looking for music I don‘t know, mostly new.

Having said that, there are also bands whose output I‘ll keep following and sometimes I go back to comfort food good old music. That‘s when I go looking for more of the same I already know and end up buying „Mad Dogs and Englishmen“ or the n-th Elvis live record because I like the sound of a big band with background singers from the early 70s.


Modern music is rubbish compared with yore

Some chap analysed it and found it was repetative, more simple and less of everything

I am at a renaissance of discovering new music. I have started picking  up CDs at the library and CDs at Goodwill.And, I just yesterday reached out to an old friend to ask if he had any musical artists he could recommend.I have also recently subscribed to Apple Music and Tidal.

I am listening to about 10 new CDs a week at this point.I found that some artists that I liked in the past, I do not enjoy anymore. I found some Nora Jones CDs that are fabulous. I had never listened to her before. And, I found one of hers that was a dud.

One source that I haven't plumbed yet is https://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/

happy listening!

When the year changed from 1979 to 1980 the music died for some reason or the other (maybe a time warp). Having said that, there are some good female Jazz singers that manage to slip through every now and then.

I have always said you are only as old as your music. A lot of my friends and family are attracted to what they heard while going to school and don’t progress from. For myself, I am constantly searching for new music even though I am now in my seventies. There is a lot of good music coming out everyday.

A couple of reasons we might stop listening to new music could be that your ex(es) left, took anything (and, everything) that could be flipped for cash, and the most musically satisfying device in your current possession is an LG sound bar. And, you’ve misplaced the %^)%#’d!! remote control?

But, seriously:

Let’s flip this 179 degrees (almost the opposte direction -- but, not quite).

What if we create a NEW topic, ask members what they find most "musically satisfying" and then assist them with exploring NEW music that has some of those elements? The scope could also include what musical(?) elements make them want to rush out of the room.


Likes: Music with major chords. Good vocals. Something you can tap your toes to. Sing along with. Musical genuious helpful, but not required. Texture. Rhythm. Ccmplexity when not expected. Simplicity at just the right times. Musical intros and breaks that "go with the music" - not to show off the dexterity of the artist. Lyrics and themes you can share with others -- especially family. Being a gifted poetic is helpful. Beautiful music, artfully crafted. Drama: not in-your-face, but in contrast to delicacy and nuance skillfully woven into the piece. Dynamic contrast. Musical "hooks" -- the more the merrier.

Dislikes: repetition. Monotones. Monorhytms: "Hey, if I wanted to hear the same song over and over again, I’d just cue up Hotel California and put it on repeat!!" Uneven order harmonics for extended periods of time. Loud, and louder. Lyrics that you wouldn’t repeat at your grandkid’s high school graduation party.

Response from members: "Based on what you listed, you might like ..... It’s experimental, but worth checking out." Another member: "Well, this guy never set his guitar on fire on stage, but he’s pretty good."

This method may extract/filter an interest in NEW music for old codgers?

It’s not the same now…I can’t get into a lot of the new stuff. I love 50s 60 70s jazz, soul r&b rock in its hey day 70s and 80s. Today most of the pop/rock sounds bland without soul. Thank god there’s still plenty of the music of that era to keep exploring.