Nah, nah, Hell No! Beyonce taught me to “raise them hands high and wave it in his face”. She gave me courage and she taught me my worth. I can go on praising Queen B till the plaster falls from the ceiling, but it still won’t change a thing. Confused? I will get there in a bit.
The other day while trying to motivate my fat ass to get into gear and raise some dumbbells and not just middle fingers my playlist switched from Zoe Keating to Nicki Minaj. For those who have not heard the genius that is Zoe, she is Cellist. Listen to her music. Your life will be eternally transformed. And I know there is no need to introduce the Queen of Rap. So, back to the switch from classical music to hard core rap on the playlist. It struck me that my musical tastes runs a whole gamut. From Linkin Park to Debussy (yes Stephenie Meyer introduced that one to me and I am not ashamed #TwilightForever) I listen to them all. So what does that say about my brain? Does listening to Beethoven or Debussy mean my Grey Matter works on a higher level? Or that encephalon of someone who listens to rubbish (Himesh Reshamiya* anyone?) is just an empty husk?
The question was: is there a correlation between music preference and our brains? Turns out researchers and scientists say that there is.
CalTech pass out, software genius and Wikipedia Scanner, Virgil Griffith, did his own research in order to find out how dumb you have to be to prefer Beyonce or for that matter Lil Wayne. For the sake of the research he mapped the musical tastes of students from over 1300 schools versus their SAT scores. He used only about 130 genres of music instead of all in his chart.
The result? The higher the SAT score, therefore assuming the higher the intelligence, more the chances that the individual preferred Beethoven. The summary was that people who liked Gospel music had the lowest test score and those who preferred Techno, the highest score.
Checkout his Chart.
As you can see Beyonce lies on the Dumber side of the graph. Now you get my rant about the awesomeness that is Bey.
Virgil cautions that he knows that Correlation does not imply Causation i.e. just because two things are related it doesn’t mean that one caused the other. As per Virgil Yeezy lies smack dab in the average zone. How Virgil, how? How can the God Kanye West be an average? (Kimoji Cry Face).
Another research links taste of music to the personality of the person. A professor at University of Texas and his student did a study to map the musical preference of individuals to their personalities. Samuel Gosling and Jason Rentfrow collected data from about 3500 students to create STOMP – Short Test Of Music Preferences.
Their result showed that most predilections of music fell into these categories or music dimensions:
- Mellow: electronica/dance, new age, world
- Unpretentious: pop, country, religious
- Sophisticated: blues, jazz, bluegrass, folk, classical, gospel, opera
- Intense: rock, punk, alternative, heavy metal
- Contemporary: rap, soul/r&b, funk, reggae
They also found out that these categories can be easily correlated with the Big Five personality test. For example, suppose you fall into the “Sophisticated” category i.e. like folk songs or blues then you would score high in the openness to new experience section of the Big Five test.
According to their “Do Re Mi of Everyday Life” a more extrovert person listens to music that has bass. While people with a more than average IQ or creative aptitudes tended towards Classical music.
Professor Adrian North from Edinburgh conducted another study on 36000 people to find yet again the relation between music taste and personality type. The study lasted more than three years and took into consideration almost 100 genres of music. Their research spewed this chart:
- Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
- Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease
- Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
- Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing
- Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
- Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing
- Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease
- Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle
- Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle
- Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing
- Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease
- Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease
- Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease
So as per Professor North because I like pop music I may not be creative but I am honest and ‘cause I love Nicki Minaj, therefore rap, I have high self esteem. All those heavy metal lovers out there: you are gentle souls but sadly you lack confidence. And yet again classical music lovers were found to be intelligent and chock full of confidence.
There might not be definite proof that loving Beyonce makes me dumb but it is for sure that music plays a vital part of our identity and brains. The question is where do you fall as per these researches?
P.S.: No disrespect meant to Himesh Reshammiya. To give credit where it is due, his music is catchy. Who here has not danced to Hookah Bar, me included!
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