Why do people have such different music tastes? © Getty Images

Why do people have such different music tastes?

We teamed up with the folks behind BBC World Service’s CrowdScience to answer your questions on music.

Across all cultures, we seem to like certain note combinations and respond similarly to certain clapping patterns. But when you unpick music at more complex levels, divisions emerge. Dr Catherine Loveday, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Westminster, likens our music taste to our comedy taste. The more complex the comedy, the more it relies on the audience knowing the cultural context.


Similarly, our music preferences are shaped by the people and groups we identify with – our culture, in other words. But it’s also to do with our individual makeup. A 2015 study at Cambridge University found that our music taste is linked to our ‘thinking style’ – in essence, whether we’re more emotionally- or analytically-minded.

Why do we get so nostalgic about music? © Getty Images

You can tune into CrowdScience every Friday evening on BBC World Service, or catch up online at bbcworldservice.com/crowdscience.


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