Music elitism is basically the practice of viewing all forms of music that doesn't match one's taste as inferior and having a negative judgmental attitude towards people who are into the kind of music one doesn't like.
Music is a form of art and a source of entertainment. We all know the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Likewise, the value of music lies in the ears of the listeners. There is no standard or criteria set for music to be enjoyable. It is entirely up to the individual taste of whoever is listening.
People are usually very expressive of their music elitism, especially on social media. There are several posts, statuses and memes that are very disrespectful towards certain genres of music, their artists and their fans. Many people also use a person's music taste to judge the individual and even proudly proclaim this practice.
I'll acknowledge this, there is no denying that music is something people bond over and a person's music taste often (but not always) reflects his/her personality. Personally liking or disliking someone over their choice of music is perfectly natural. But the problem starts when you actively put down people or criticise them for their preferences, and start claiming that a particular type of music is superior or inferior to others.
Aside from bringing unnecessary hate towards a person or a group of people who have done nothing wrong, music elitism has negative effects on you as well. It makes you narrow minded and stops you from exploring different types of music that you might have loved but were too stubborn to give a try. Another negative aspect is that, you will push away people with whom you could've been very good friends with just because their music preferences defer from your own. You immediately made a snap judgment and never give them a chance.
I myself used to be a kind of music elitist. I was really into rock and heavy metal music back then and viewed everything else as inferior. I had very negative perceptions about mainstream pop and I would proclaim how these songs are terrible and their artists were losers. I would also be very judgmental of people who liked Hindi music.
Ever since I dropped this sense of elitism and became more open minded, only good things have happened. I discovered songs from a wide variety of genres that were repeated over 20 times in my playlist on certain days. I have made friends who are both amazing human beings and keep up with all the latest hits from Bollywood. And of course, it feels a lot better to not spread unwarranted hate against someone or something.
Realistically speaking, we will always be a little biased, a little judgmental. Music taste is no exception. But as long as we strive to become more open minded, things are bound to get better.
Mushfiqur Rahman Shanto is a lost and confused soul going through his early twenties' crisis. Send him life advice at firstname.lastname@example.org