General, Research, Technology

What do scientists know about people's musical tastes?

Today find out how much in the worldmusic genres are almost impossible, because new styles appear every year, and old ones remain on the ear for decades. That is why there is nothing strange in the fact that each person has his own musical taste. But what determines what kind of music this or that person loves? Why do many listen to fashion rap today, while others continue to be fans of old rock bands? According to Chinese scientists, listeners and musicians find each other because during the sound of music their brain begins to work the same way. Perhaps this explains the fact that at concerts, listeners and musicians seem to become one and don’t notice how time flows.

In the photo - violinist Lindsay Stirling

Brain response to music

That while listening to musiclisteners and musicians are activated the same areas of the brain, scientists found out during the experiment. It should immediately be clarified that the scientific work cannot yet be called completed, because to prove the results, scientists need to carry out additional work with a large number of participants. As part of the current experiment, they asked a professional violinist to play 100-second excerpts from various compositions on a musical instrument. In this case, the musician was connected to an apparatus that monitored the activity of various areas of his brain while playing the violin. In addition, he was filmed on video.

The violin has only four strings and gained popularity in the 17th century. Shot from the series "Sherlock"

The video was shown to a group of volunteers.of 16 people whose brain activity was also monitored by scientists. It turned out that during the sounding of music, two sections of the brain were actively working for the listeners and the musician: the left temporal cortex and the right lower frontal cortex. Scientists also noticed that at first the brain of people is engaged in the study of music and only then it makes it possible for a person to understand whether he likes music or not. Therefore, if you are looking for fresh music for yourself for a new playlist, do not be lazy and listen to at least half the length of new products. Perhaps at first the music will sound bad, but in the second part of the track, illumination may well come - you definitely like the music.

Temporal cortex receives information about sound from the auditory organs and breaks it into parts - for example, when a person hears speech, the temporal cortex breaks it into separate words for proper understanding. Right lower frontal gyrus responsible for capturing and understanding the musical melody.

So, according to Chinese scientists,the same brain work of the listener and the musician can bring them closer. Perhaps, the performers of other musical styles and their listeners begin to activate completely different areas of the brain, and not those that were included during the violin. It is definitely impossible to find out about this at the moment, but there is hope that soon scientists will conduct a new study. They will need to invite performers of certain music groups and put them next to fans. If other areas of the brain begin to work for them and they coincide, then there is some truth in the assumption of Chinese scientists.

Musical tastes of people

Generally, on a person’s musical preferencesinfluence not only activity in different areas of the brain, but also many other factors. First of all, musical preferences are affected by the place of residence of a person, the tastes of his parents, relatives and friends, as well as his character and lifestyle. For example, the inhabitants of African countries are well acquainted with such a musical genre as soul, and on the basis of this knowledge they can build musical preferences that many residents of Russia may not understand. In the same way, they may not understand our musical preferences.

As mentioned above, in the world there are a huge number of musical genres. You can listen to each of them on the Everynoise website - choose any genre from the huge list and listen to the passage.

Types of Musical Flavors

Conducting research on the topic of musicpeople's preferences are considered very complex, so such scientific work is very rare. The most interesting work of this kind is a study conducted in 2014, in which scientists identified 5 types of musical tastes:

  • Complicated taste, the owners of which listen to classical music that is not very popular these days or modern versions of old compositions;
  • Unpretentious the taste in which people listen to romantic songs in order to relax and calm down to the soft melodies;
  • Tense a taste characterized by a love of fast and aggressive music like punk rock and heavy metal;
  • "Juicy"a taste whose lovers crave for soft and relaxing sounds that are filled with such musical genres as jazz and soul;
  • Modern the taste that is characteristic of most people - the owners of such a musical taste prefer popular songs, which over time are forgotten and replaced by other hits.

According to Psychology Today, holders of complex andintense musical taste for the most part open to new experiences and love creativity. Owners of unpretentious musical taste, according to psychologists, are people with a soft character who do not like innovation. People with a modern musical taste are personalities who are open to communication, who often do not have their own opinions. But people with “juicy” musical preferences present a big mystery for scientists, because they still have not been able to accurately characterize them. So far, one thing can be said - there are many curious people among soul and jazz lovers, but they relate to society differently - someone likes to be in a big company, and someone prefers to spend time alone.

In 2019, my colleague Alexander Bogdanov wrote an interesting article about not the smartest people listening to rap. I recommend reading it and invite you to discuss this topic in our Telegram chat.

In general, music is an amazing phenomenon thatunites millions of people. It is believed that only real talents can compose music, but more recently, even artificial intelligence has learned this art. I advise you to read our material on how a computer creates death-metal style music live on YouTube.