Thursday, October 17, 2013

Of Music and Life Stages

From Medical Xpress, contrary to the common belief that musical preferences are fixed in adolescence, Arielle Bonneville-Roussy from Cambridge's Department of Psychology has led a study that finds otherwise:
Now, a new study suggests that - while our engagement with it may decline - music stays important to us as we get older, but the music we like adapts to the particular 'life challenges' we face at different stages of our lives....

One theory put forward by researchers, based on the study, is that we come to music to experiment with identity and define ourselves, and then use it as a social vehicle to establish our group and find a mate, and later as a more solitary expression of our intellect, status and greater emotional understanding.... 
"Whereas the first musical age [adolescence] is about asserting independence, the next  [young adulthood] appears to be more about gaining acceptance from others." 
As we settle down and middle age begins to creep in, the last musical age, as identified by the researchers, is dominated by 'sophisticated' – such as jazz and classical – and 'unpretentious' – such as country, folk and blues.

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