Thursday, 13 September 2012

Why Do I Like The Music That I Like?

Why do I like the music I like? What does your taste in music say about your personality?

I've often wondered why certain songs induce shivers up my spine, whilst others have absolutely no effect. After thinking long and hard about why this might happen, I came up with the following ideas, described below. I’d love to hear your opinions and insights on this subject too and look forward to reading them in the 
comments section below.

Sometimes we like songs because they reflect our current mood or stage in life

song that has lyrics that are so applicable and true to your life, is more likely to send shivers up your spine. It’s the shivers linked to the excitement and adrenaline rush. For others they may get tears coming to their eyes. I believe this could be the result of someone else “getting it” and expressing what often, we find hard to express ourselves. In a way, by listening to someone else express what we are feeling, we express it 

A song without lyrics can also have a similar effect if the emotions in your life right now are strongly reflected by the emotions that the music evokes.
With songs that reflect our current mood or stage in life, at some point, we’ll move on to a new mood or life stage, and that song will cease to remain quite that meaningful to us. Instead it become a nostalgic song that reminds us of a certain time we once lived through.
Sometimes we like songs because they resonate with our personality
Music that never ceases to move you, no matter what mood you’re in, or what stage of your life you’re at, is more likely to be music that is in line with your personality.
I think that the music-linked-emotions that excite you consistently, reveal what you admire or strive towards in life. Let me explain what I mean with a few examples:
  • If you’re moved by epic film music which builds up dramatically to a shiver-inducing climax, it may indicate that your personality is drawn towards the “build-up”; the dramatic climb towards success.
  • If you love music with a strong regular beat, perhaps it could mean that in life, you like things to have regular routine. Regular and strong, like the beat of a drum. It also reminds us of the beat of the heart, and being alive, so I would suggest that listening to such music helps us feel “more alive”, whether we need this boost because we’re usually quite restrained, or whether we live life to the full already and it expresses this part of ourselves well.
  • If you’re moved by soft and gentle music, it may indicate that you yourself are a gentle soul. If you admire gentleness in music form, I think it’s quite likely that you will admire gentleness in people too.
  • If you’re moved by vocal harmonies (eg choir music): I think this symbolizes the beauty of teamwork; of people working together and of social integration. It could imply that one of the things you particularly admire in life is the social side of things.
  • If you adore angry-sounding punk music, perhaps this helps you express latent anger you have, so listening to this kind of music makes you feel better and lighter for having gotten it “off your chest” through others.
  • If you quite enjoy melancholic  tracks, perhaps there is a side of you that quite enjoys wallowing sometimes in the feeling of “poor me..” or for others, maybe it helps them get the melancholia out of their system through listening to it expressed in others.
  • If you are really drawn to instrumental solos, I think what this says about you depends on the instrument.
    Piano music: Although it depends on what kind of piano music you like, usually I would associate it with soft, gentle sounds, with a meaning which is quite similar to the “soft and gentle music” explanation above. A piano piece is also pure in that it is made of just one instrument. Perhaps it could mean that you admire things in their pure state. It is also an instrument played solo. Perhaps this could reflect a side of you which can enjoy being an independent lone wolf at times.
    Acoustic guitar: This has a folky feel, often with quite a simple sound (just guitar and voice). The sound is soft and gentle, and often a little subdued (as opposed to the heavy beats of dance music or the shouts of punk music), reflecting these qualities in your personality.
    Loud electric guitar: I associate a loud electric guitar with enthusiasm and quite intense feelings.
  • If you love loud music (whichever type it is) I think this helps heighten your own emotions, whatever they may be, so it shows a joy of being able to express yourself, and a joy of basking in the *feeling*. Sometimes it can be a desire to express a side of yourself you wish you had (eg the teenager that cranks up the volume on a song he believes gives him the image he thinks is cool and attractive, even if it isn’t in line with who he really is).
I really believe that everything we like and respond to in life has more significance that it may seem. The above are just my hypotheses based on the fact that they fit with a lot of the people I know.  What do you think the music you like says about you? Feel free to discuss in the comments below.

1 comment:

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