Why do I like music so much
What do our musical tastes say about us?
WDR: Some people love sophisticated jazz, others can't get enough of hits. Why?
Timo Fischinger: The taste in music develops and is not given prenatal per se. That sounds easy, but it's important to mention because it shows that it's ultimately a product of the culture in which I grew up.
A product of the interaction with parents, other children and the peer group: If I want to belong to a certain group at school, it is natural to imagine that someone will begin to listen to this music and then find it good .
WDR: If the taste in music is shaped very strongly in childhood and adolescence, does it even change in adulthood?
Fischinger: In fact, there are fewer studies on this than on the areas of adolescence. And that's why little is known about it.
But I am sure that - if not so lively and quickly - something will also happen in adulthood. When you have got tired of certain music or really had the courage through friends to go to an opera that you had not attended before.
WDR: Songs from your own youth can be annoying years later, right?
Fischinger: I can understand that, some performers then lie idle, you don't want to hear them anymore.
Nonetheless, there is a study that shows that music that was popular when you were in your early 20s is always rated positively in the course of life.
WDR: And what about hits that keep playing on the radio and you come across all the time: After a certain amount of time, they can get pretty exhausting. Does that have something to do with taste in music?
Fischinger: This has to do with the development of taste in music: the more you expose yourself to certain music, the more positively you evaluate this music.
But it's like with other things, if you have too much of it, it hurts at some point. So there is this phenomenon, but it has not yet been particularly explored.
WDR: That also means: You can't really say why I don't like certain styles of music or songs?
Fischinger: Rejected music can not only be due to the music itself, but also has to do with the situation and previous experience.
There are certainly many people who would never admit in a questionnaire that they would like to hear Helene Fischer. But after a little alcohol and at a good party or carnival, you are willing to listen to Helene Fischer's music.
It's a bit like the other side of the coin, it's a little bit the same mechanisms as in music that I like. In other words, I like it because it has a certain aesthetic sound, because my friends favor this music and I think through the influence of others: 'Oh, if they like that, I think that's good too'.
WDR: Our environment influences our taste in music - can it be influenced so much that parents could decide to “My child will listen to classical music”?
Fischinger:If you have good contact with your children, you can definitely influence them. In terms of music education, I would recommend that children get to know many different types of music. To find a way for yourself to choose the music that you like.
WDR: Still, it seems much more accepted today to hear Taylor Swift's pop music and go to the opera at the same time.
Fischinger: There will certainly still be mental hurdles here and there. But there are always people who say in a questionnaire that they hear both Beethoven and Bowie. This form of “I hear almost everything” is called “omnivore” or “omnivore”. For a while this was true for well-off young people growing up. But a study by our Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics has shown that musicology students have much broader musical tastes than non-musicology students.
The idea for this study was to find out what tastes musicology students develop compared to non-musicology students. The social conditions were the same in both samples, so there were no class differences. It has been shown, however, that the musicology students have shown a much broader taste in music. Compared to people studying medicine or business. Completely independent of the social class. That would be an argument that the omnivorous hypothesis no longer refers to social class.
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