Queen snubs traditional British music in favor of edgier genre, says musician

The Queen snubbed traditional British music in favor of an edgier genre, reveals a musician, who revealed her knowledge surprised him

Queen
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The Queen snubbed traditional British music in favor of jazz and the blues, sharing her keen interest and knowledge in the genres.


British jazz musician Gary Crosby was the first jazz player to be given the Queen's Medal for Music back in 2019, which he received from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

PEOPLE (opens in new tab) reports that chatting to radio host Cerys Matthews, while appearing on BBC Radio Two's Blues Show, he revealed he asked her if she liked the blues.

"Duke Ellington," he said when Cerys enquired how she'd responded.

"Ellington came up," he continued, "and her appreciation of music and instruments and how they're amplified just floored me for about a minute," he said. "I just sat there and [thought], 'Is this for real? The Queen is speaking to me about re-amplification of acoustic string instruments.'"

The double-bass player recounted their conversation about the issues of audio quality in open spaces, like music festivals. He recalled how they spoke about the difficulty of tens of thousands of people, gathered in a field, with super-sized speakers trying to listen to acoustic instruments being re-amplified.

Gary claims the Queen asked, "It's never going to sound the same is it?" Remembering the moment he said, "So I've got to answer now, and I'm just like, 'Really, the Queen?' I felt so happy."

When asked whether the Queen should have gone to Woodstock, the double-bass player said, "Or maybe not. She didn't want to go to Woodstock. I think she's into acoustic instruments by the sound of it. It's the vibrations."

Does the Queen play any instruments?

Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) watches her sister, Princess Margaret Countess of Snowdon (1930 - 2002) play a Brahms Waltz on the piano in the school room at Buckingham Palace.

(Image credit: Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images)

From a young age, the Queen was surrounded by music. She and her sister Princess Margaret were both taught to play the piano.

The monarch's love of all things musical has been reflected in her patronage, and in the honorary degrees she was awarded before she'd even been crowned. 

The Queen has two honorary degrees in Music, a Bachelor of Music from University of London, and a Doctor of Music from the University of Wales. Classicfm (opens in new tab) reports that she was awarded both of these before she had ascended the throne and that they are, "symbolic of her devotion to music."

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.