It is well known that music often regulates mood. Sad songs to live a tusa, happy ‘bits’ to get in the spirit of cleaning and melancholic rhythms to remember a loved one are just some of the rhythms that regulate feelings.
However, it was only recently that science proved that the music you listen to can have severe influences on your personality that a human has.
Music helps people understand each other and find common ground
A study by the University of Cambridge for Spotify showed that the most empathetic people have a preference for soft music like soul, contemporary and soft rock, while those who are less empathetic prefer more intense genres, such as punk, heavy metal and heavy rock.
According to experts, people’s brains are divided into ‘Empathizers’ and ‘Systematizers’, which is why those of the first type always prefer soft music that contains little excitement. Their opponents prefer high emotion with deep lyrics.
But then, where are the pop, the rancheras or the classics? Another study, conducted by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, classified most musical genres into five categories.
In ‘Mellow’ meets soft rock, R&B and adult contemporary music; in ‘intense’ is louder and more aggressive music such as punk, classic rock, heavy metal and the power pop. For its part, in ‘Contemporáneo’ there is electronic music, rap, Latin and European pop. In ‘Sophisticated’ we see that there is classical music, opera and jazz. Finally, in ‘Unpretentious’, the researchers left the country and relaxing music.
Again, the results found a direct correlation between outgoing people and songs that were in the ‘Contemporary’ and ‘Unpretentious’ categories‘.
“People can be divided by geography, language and culture, But if an introvert in one part of the world likes the same music as introverts elsewhere, that suggests music could be a very powerful bridge.. Music helps people understand each other and find common ground,” the experts say in their document.
For their part, Samuel Gosling and Peter Rentfrow, belonging to the University of Texas, clarified four categories in which music and personalities are related.
1. Emotional solidity: Here are the fans of classical music, blues, jazz and soul. They are characterized by being tolerant and open-minded.
2. Conservative, but outgoing: space for fans of country and pop. People with an intense social life, although with few social skills.
3. Rebellion and impulsiveness: here are the lovers of rock and heavy metal. Their eagerness to get things done right away makes them stand out from the crowd. In addition, they are outgoing and confident.
4. Open and clueless: lovers of funk and hip-hop, as well as electronic music, are open, liberal and somewhat clueless. They usually like sports and do not pay much attention to the opinions of others.
the other side of the record
Not everything is positive about these results, as negative connections were also reflected in the Cambridge University study.
In agreement with these conclusions, the neuroticism that some people suffer from could be caused by listening to melancholy music to express their loneliness or to listen to happy music that distracts them from their current mood.
“That was surprising, but people use music in different ways: some may use it as catharsis, others to change your mood. We will look into it in more detail,” said David Greenberg, an honorary research associate at the University of Cambridge.
What makes a song sad or happy?
Surely we have heard songs that sound like sad songs, but whose lyrics are about a happy moment or the opposite case.
But if it’s not the lyrics, then what makes a song feel sad?
According to José Martín Marcos, professor at the Department of Performing Arts at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, this has its origin in the musical scale (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si) and in the space between the notes that make it up.
(Read also: The story behind the sad song ‘Mom, where are the toys?’).
“When the distance is long, the perceived sensation is one of tranquility due to the equality between the sounds that are executed. On the contrary, when the distance is short, we seem to experience a very special, intimate and sensitive sensation, ”he says in an article in this center.
The lyrics also have to do with the musical composition process, but they are not essential when it comes to conveying a feeling. It is for this reason that a song is perceived as sad even when it is sung in an unknown language.
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This is what the type of music you listen to says about you