I originally wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora.
Full question for this answer:
“I have noticed that my disinterest is turning to antipathy towards music with vocals in them, especially pop music. Most people say that vocals is extremely important to them and a song without it is just .. ‘blah’.
Is there a word for this sort of preference? How did people develop such an attraction towards instrumental music, while clearly the most heard music is with vocals in them (radio)?”
I strongly prefer instrumental music.
For me the main reason is because I can just enjoy the music and imagine/think whatever I like without being drawn into the world of the singer.
Most of the time when I’m listening to music, I don’t really want to think about someone else’s messed up relationship or dead dog. I’d rather imagine my own things and/or have my own thoughts. I like the way that sound enhances my thinking and I don’t want to give someone else control. Lyrics automatically change the subject.
I listen to a lot of genres, but the absolute worst thing is the tendency of a lot of ambient/atmospheric/psytrance electronic music to include fragments of lectures by Timothy Leary or Deepak Chopra. Stop ruining your music by trying to make idiots put ill-concieved ideas into my head. I instantly turn off anything that does that and never listen again.
Words paint a picture of a world. There are a lot of worlds I don’t want to live in. That’s why I never listen to country or gospel. But, when I’m in the mood for lyrics, the worlds are far stronger in non-instrumental music.
Words can be overwhelming sometimes. Notes, not so much.