I’ve been listening alot to Native American inspired music lately. It has helped me to focus and study. Then I began to listen to some of my older music, but I began to wonder, what makes music good or bad? I read in a previous question you answered that we shouldn’t get caught up in the emotion of the rhythm and beat. What do you mean by that? Don’t we create music to express our emotion, so in turn, others would feel that as well? I’ve noticed that lots of my older music seems to send me into a type of trance where I cannot focus, but I seem to drift away from the world. Is that the bad that you mean?
Good and bad music each come in many forms. Some kinds of bad music drive your focus to only the music itself. Other kinds have horrible lyrical images or content. Some are just filthy. Good music also comes in many forms. Some kinds bring our minds to the Savior and the Gospel. Others are good at calming us down, or bringing peace to our minds. Others are just uplifting in a very general way.
Each person reacts to music differently. For this reason it’s tough to specifically categorize what is and isn’t good or bad music. For instance I can’t stand some kinds of music, but if my wife loves it, it’s not that what she likes is bad, it’s just not music I like.
As long as what you listen to has a positive influence on your mood, or spirituality, I think you’re safe. This is assuming you already avoid the nasty, degrading, and crass music that is widely available. We don’t need to restrict ourselves to the hymnal for our casual music, and exploring the wonderful world of modern music is a rather fun hobby of mine even today. I happen to think that native american music can be excellent, too.