Gatekeeping In Music

Gatekeeping In Music

Hannah Lancaster, Staff Writer

There are many genres and types of music that apply to many different people and what type of music fits their own personal taste. Gatekeeping in music is the concept of someone who has a diverse amount of knowledge in a music genre stopping or making people feel less than if they know less about the music that they are listening to. Gatekeepers in music make it hard for new people to get into a new genre or new band. 

Everyone has their own gatekeeping experience and how they felt about the interaction. Gatekeeping creates a toxic environment for everyone involved and often causes problems for other members of a music community. It causes fights at concerts and all forms of online hate to other people of the same music community. Gatekeeping is not just limited to one genre like rock or metal you find gatekeeping with all genres of music that has people who will listen to it. Nowadays you can’t even wear a T-shirt with a band or logo on it without getting asked the famous question of “name three songs.” 

When this question is asked you have no time to respond. If you stop or ask “what?” or “why?” or just look at them because the question may have thrown you off the person asking the question will most likely say “I knew you didn’t know any songs you just wear the shirt without knowing a song” and proceed to walk away like they just saved the world from self-destructing. How do I know what typically happens in those conversations? It happened to my friends and I more times than I can count. 

In my experience there is no way to “win” in the conversation of name three songs. One day when I was walking to my next class after third hour. On my way around the halls, I had my headphones in stopping me from really hearing what’s going on. When a student I have never seen or spoken to before started talking to me, I had no idea what he said at first, so I took out my headphones and asked what he said. He said, “name three songs,” the famous questions, I had still a confused idea of what he said to me, so I asked “what” and he responded with “see I knew you were just wearing the shirt with no knowledge of the band.” He turned and walked away from me; I was dumbfounded at the conversation that had just happened all because I was wearing a Nirvana T-shirt. 

Gatekeeping with music happens constantly and they always think that they are performing a service when all they are doing is annoying fans who are already apart of the community and stopping new people from either wanting to be a part of the music genre or turning that music community into a toxic environment for everyone involved.