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How Does Music Define You?

We make choices of the genres of music we listen to and add to our playlist. There are specific genres we stick with. Some old songs we listen to over and over again. We may think music is a form of entertainment or a way to de-stress. But music has also been used to define who we are.

Genre doesn’t define us

All of us pick our favourite genre of music based on our socioeconomic background and the culture of where we grew up from. Turns out that we are all drawn towards the same emotions across genres. This is the reason why research on personality traits and music tend to ignore genre when it comes to studying characteristics of each person. Instead, music is grouped into categories based on its most salient sonic and emotional characteristics. According to Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premusiz, “Musical genres are there to describe music, not people.”

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin created four distinct musical categories into which we can fit all the varieties of musical genres. They found that people who fit into these categorical likes and dislikes shared similar personality traits.

1. Country, Religious, Pop and Soundtrack fans

People who gravitate towards these genres usually are political conservatives. They tend to be extroverted, agreeable and conscientious. They also perceive themselves to be physically attractive like the pop stars they admire, but yet experience lower levels of emotional stability and have less developed verbal skills.

2. Hip-hop, soul, funk, electronica and dance fans

Those who love energetic and rhythmic music tend to be extroverted, politically liberal, athletic, and attractive. They tend to forgive rather than to exploit others’ faults because they score low on the Social Dominance Orientation scale. There are exceptions to the rule. For example, hip-hop mogul Rick Ross is the least athletic man in all of music and he is not a forgiving person.

3. Rock, alternative, and heavy metal fans

Those who love intense, rebellious, and heavy music score high on the Social Dominance Orientation scale. They are driven and have a desire to dominate those they perceive to be lesser. The fans of these genres are extroverted, athletic and believe themselves to be very intelligent. But of course, their level of intelligence is subjective.

4. Jazz, classical, blues, and folk fans

Fans of these musical genres show high levels of openness to experience, high verbal ability, and emotional stability. They perceive themselves to be highly intelligent and tolerant. These listeners usually champion liberal and social ideals. Jazz may be old, but its ideals are not as old as it seems.

Although our personalities have been categorised into these four types of genres, what defines us isn’t strictly set in stone. You may not be as emotionally stable as you would like to be and still like jazz. You may not be as attractive as modern society's standard suggests but you can be a fan of pop.

You can learn to play and sing to your hearts’ content the songs you love by joining us at Ritmo Music Studio. We offer many music programs as well as rent our studios for passionate musicians looking for a place to jam together.

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