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.
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