Re: Can younger people appreciate music better than people of an advanced age?
Some really good replies to this thread, I have to say. Of course youngsters believe what they have discovered / created is new. Newness has a special kind of property - I suspect somehow imbued in all of us as a result of biology.
What an older person can do is organically (ie. not in Music classes or some such) discover the truth that the thing they discovered as new back in the days when girls didn't care how much you earned, actually bares the footprint of a much older work. This is a great thing in the sense that it can lead you on a fantastic journey of discovery (& it needn't be confined to music BTW: good music can lead the listener to film, literature of all kind, even architecture), but it can also be somewhat humbling.
It wasn't too difficult for me to realise that my boyhood drum hero Rat Scabies had got much of his stuff from Keith Moon, hence The Who gave rise to The Damned.
What all this experience & knowledge has done is increased my admiration for artists that seemed to make a quantum leap. Killing Joke changed my life when I was about 13, but trying to locate the "source" has been a fantastic journey for nearly 30 years now.
Back to the opening thread for a moment... afd100 wrote "It seems they dismiss anything with a moderate amount of guitar distortion and even a semi aggressive/upbeat theme, odd time signature as a load of modern garbage with no musicality. " I can't help but wonder why you think distorted guitar or odd times is new or modern. The Who's demo tapes were sent back from NYC because they had distortion on there & the record company thought it was faulty.... but that was 40+ years ago! Odd time signatures were thoroughly explored in the 1970s, so there's nothing new there either.
What I will allege is there is real danger in the grand social experiment on youth by virtue of computer games / phones / twitter & all that. No-one knows what impact it will have on development of the mind & society. It seems possible that a generation of people with even shorter attention spans can only take us in the wrong direction. I work with kids all the time - believe me, it's a concern.