HEALTH AND SCIENCE

Here is why some people dislike music

The previous research, focused on preferences for certain kinds of music.

In Summary

•Music has an effect on our social behaviour as well and this has had indirect or direct consequences on our everyday lives.

•The previous research, focused on preferences for certain kinds of music.

Musical vinyl
Musical vinyl
Image: Courtesy: flickr.com

There is nothing wrong with a person choosing a different taste of music.

In fact, there are some people who prefer silence to any sort of music. And not liking certain kinds of music is really dependent on personal taste.

In the study which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (MPIEA) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, have now investigated some of the possible reasons why people dislike music.

The researchers got to deeply investigate and conduct extensive interviews with 21 participants from different age groups.

The previous research focused on preferences for certain kinds of music, but now they looked at individual dislikes.

A music app displayed on a phone
A music app displayed on a phone
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

“The most often mentioned type of dislike was a musical style, followed by artist and genre,” explains senior author Julia Merrill.

“When we looked more closely at the participants’ rationales, we were able to identify five main reference points for describing musical dislikes: the music itself, lyrics, performance, artist, and the people who listen to it.”

Music has shown to have an effect on our social behaviour as well and this has had indirect or direct consequences on our everyday lives.

The researchers assigned these rationales to three categories: first, object-related reasons, such as music composition or lyrics; second, subject-related reasons, such as emotional or bodily effects or discrepancies with self-image; and third, social reasons, which pertain to an individual’s social environment and taste judgments common to it (in-group) or to other groups to which an individual does not feel part of (out-group).

Apart from the reasons for disliking music, participants described specific reactions they have when confronted with music they dislike.

 These included emotional, bodily, and social reactions, ranging from leaving the room to breaking off social contact.

A person listens to music in an application
A person listens to music in an application
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

While earlier research has shown that musical aversion has important social functions, this study expands the range of rationales to include music-related and personal reasons.

 Musical dislikes may, for instance, serve to maintain a good mood, facilitate identity expression, or help demarcate a social group. In this way, they fulfil similar functions as musical preferences, but are expressed less openly and more indirectly.

 

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