I have no idea what music Christie found inspiring or uplifting or merely entertaining. Her autobiography might tell us, but I don’t remember anything about music being emphasized there (it’s been many years since I read it, however).
Gramophone Magazine was certainly popular among Britain’s more literate and cultured citizens during Christie’s lifetime. The magazine asked a number of famous Brits including Noel Coward, George Bernard Shaw, and G. K. Chesterton about their favorite music. The article is amusing, if only for the uneven results of the survey, with some taking the forum seriously and others attempting to be funny (perhaps for 1926 they were funny).
Sadly, the only mystery writer surveyed is Chesterton (Father Brown series), and he’s not described as such. Did they ask Arthur Conan Doyle, I wonder? Although 67 years old, Doyle had just released his book The History of Spiritualism. Was Doyle at this time considered the esteemed creator of Sherlock Holmes, or a superstitious crank? The latter might not have fit the bill for Gramophone.
The Gramophone survey is not, unlike so many things of that era, a boys-only club. Women, from poets to actresses, are well represented. So why did no one query Agatha Christie about her favorite music? At this point she had written five novels and one short story collection. She was certainly a public figure. Her “break out” novel (as they would say today) came out that year: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Was she one novel short of being surveyed by Gramophone, interviewed by the BBC, and parodied by Punch?
Probably not. Chesterton is most likely on the list for nothing having to do with his creation of Father Brown. He and Hillaire Belloc (also surveyed) were better known as essayists and Catholic apologists in a still fiercely Protestant England.
No, it is much more likely that the survey reflects, however obliquely, the belief that high culture and mystery novels (or novelists) do not go together. While this provokes head-shaking today, we now live with the polar opposite bias. Today, thriller novelists lecture us on military matters and Stephen King prattles on about tax rates.
I’m not sure which is worse.