Here at JamHawk, we study the intersection of neuroscience and music. Many interested in this space are examining the creation of music. We are different in that we seek to understand its implications in current music technology as it relates to consumption, and your music taste.
In our last blog post, we talked about the personal mechanism of music, meaning the listener hears and understands from an individual perspective, as a reflection of the songwriters’ expression. Across varying settings, all of us experience this and relate to music personally, regardless of our intent to be sociable or unsociable at the time.
As Albert Einstein remarked, we should all experience music this way. I would, of course, add the caveat that it isn’t foolish to like a song someone else likes. It is foolish to “like” a song purely because someone else likes it. Music is both a universal language we all speak, and a means of personal reflection, revelation and evolution. Surely Einstein, as an avid Mozart fan, would agree.
You Have a Unique Music Taste
You may only like one genre of music, or even one artist, but there are specific and concrete reasons you feel this attraction. We seek to understand those reasons, and you should too. Here’s why: understanding your tastes in music (or anything, really) helps to develop an understanding of yourself. It’s one thing to understand that you love Nick Jonas—talking to the fellas, of course—but it’s something deeper to understand why you love Nick Jonas.
Are you a conformist or a rebel? An introvert or a social butterfly? A good Samaritan or a sociopath? I’m being extreme, of course, but this is purposeful. What kind of music do sociopaths like? Is it any different from the music the rest of us like? DISCLAIMER: I’m assuming I’m not a sociopath.
The truth is, because music is universal, it is entirely possible for two very different people to like the same song. That’s part of the beauty of the entire music experience and ecosystem.
Music is a Creation Cycle
One cannot perceive a piece of music, or any art for that matter, without interpretation. Even those of us who are laymen learn early to view and deduce an idea of art. This compulsion to assess the aesthetics around us is innate, even if our assessments are accidental.
Both expression and interpretation arise from a primal sector within our souls. From our respective points of view, we are wired to search for exemplifications of beauty and revelations of truth. In this way, none of us are laymen. We can all take what opinions we will from art, form our own ideals, and create further expression.
The beauty of art is its cyclicity: the freedom of the interpreter to become a new creator. Consequently, art can be deconstructed but never broken down. This is a large part of why our brains become so engaged. Knowing your personal music taste not only reveals yourself to the world, it reveals that same person to you.