I have to agree with DMan. When I was younger, I used to make fun of the music my brother listened to because I didn't like it. (It doesn't matter what kind of music that was.) Then I started learning to play the guitar, and I came to realize that just because you don't like something doesn't mean it isn't any good, that it doesn't have any value.

It's not an easy thing to write a piece of music, any kind of music. Some music is certainly more complicated than others, just as some art is more complicated than others. Bach is in many ways like one of those engravings by M.C. Escher, with interlocking harmonies that fit together as neatly as a puzzle. Some very slick pop tune may be more akin to an Andy Warhol painting. They're very different from each other. You might not like both, or either, but to say one has no value just because you happen to prefer the other is just wrong. They may have not value to you, but that is not the same thing as being worthless.

One more point about heavy metal specifically. If you aren't used to listening to an electric guitar played through an amp with a lot of distortion, it can sound very noisy, and I mean noisy in the technical sense, that is, full of random frequencies, and it's especially difficult to hear chords through all that apparent noise. However, there is really very little actual noise in there, there is a lot of distortion of a very specific type, but not very much noise. Many people like this particular sound, and with listening practice, (though most people don't even realize they've had to practice it) hearing the notes and chords through all that distortion is possible, even effortless.

Lith, You're right, I wasn't meaning to present the idea as if it were my own. I've read that book so many times that that particular idea has just become part of my psyche and I forget that not everyone has necessarily read that book or Hofstadter's other books. (Similarly, I also don't credit Homer Simpson when I say "Doh!" :-) And that particular analogy is so dead-on that I kind of doubt Hofstadter was the first to hit upon it anyway. Your radical ideas about other people's radical ideas have already occurred to others. Not that it's a reasonable defense, but, ideas such as this are not copyrightable nor patentable, nor are they property...so if I didn't want to, I have no legal obligation to credit anyone. But it's not as if I've never credited Hofstadter here on E2. Read things that rhyme with orange or Creativity is absolutely dependent on boundaries for instance).