The Science Behind Our Musical Tastes

I grew up listening to a whole variety of songs. Being raised in a religious household, gospel music has become ingrained in me and although my preferences for that particular genre has shifted and my musical sensibility for that category of songs has become more scrupulous, many of the songs that I heard when I was a child are still a part of me. On Sundays, my grandmother would turn on her radio and listen to songs from the 50s and 60s, and those also left their mark on me.

So, nowadays when I listen to new songs or a different genre of music, it fascinates me how many of the songs I find appealing have a connection to songs that I have grown up with or that I heard when I was younger. I have discovered, however, that my particular taste in music gravitates toward the alternative rock genre and some electro pop. This is more likely influenced by my discovery of Japanese bands, and songs from Japanese animated shows.

These things are all factors that contribute to my music palate. According to Nolan Gasser, a musician and musicologist, sociology plays a tremendous role behind our musical tastes. What we hear when we were babies and throughout our formative years become the home base of our musical sensibilities. But as we grow older, our taste in music evolves and expands as we become exposed to different music. For a deeper dive into musical taste, you may check out Nolan Gasser's Why You Like It: The Science & Culture of Musical Taste.

(Image credit: Mohammad Metri/Unsplash)

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