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Music Science

It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music 268

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-it-just-makes-us-cry dept.
sciencehabit writes "Researchers have found that between 1 and 3% of people don't like music of any kind. These people aren't tone deaf or incapable of grasping the emotional meaning of a song—their brains simply didn’t find listening to music rewarding. While some psychiatric disorders are associated with the loss of the ability to feel pleasure, called anhedonia, the music-haters represent the first evidence for not feeling pleasure from only one specific pleasing stimulant, a condition that has been dubbed music-specific anhedonia. Curious where you fall on the music reward spectrum? The researchers have an online quiz." I know I actively prefer silence to most music, but what I like, I like intensely. Update: 03/06 21:48 GMT by T : Sorry for the garbled submission; now fixed.
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It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

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  • Oliver Sacks (Score:3, Informative)

    by snooz_crash (802357) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:32PM (#46422477)
    ...has already written about this phenomenon. http://www.oliversacks.com/books/musicophilia/ [oliversacks.com]
  • Re:Sorry... (Score:4, Informative)

    by plopez (54068) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:34PM (#46422503) Journal

    So in other words, no different from any other /. post.

  • Re:Mind = Blown (Score:5, Informative)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:37PM (#46422529)

    Study also shows that between 1 and 3% of online survey takers don't give a crap about the questions they're being asked, and just want the survey to be over with.

  • by Morpeth (577066) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:50PM (#46422683)

    Just curious, have you ever had an extended period of silence, like hours or days? Why I ask is this, most people have some ringing in total silence (which is rare because we live with SO much background noise these days), but it settles down after an extensive period of being in silence or near silent conditions. Whenever I go backpacking somewhere very remote, my ears ring like hell for the first day or so, by the 2nd or 3rd day, not so much.

    But if it's always there, you may have tinnitus, which unfortunately medicine been able to cure/resolve yet... :/

  • by labnet (457441) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @05:07PM (#46422879)

    Which is called tinnitus.
    If you put anyone in a sound proof room for long enough, they will eventually hear noises.
    The most common form of tinnitus is a high pitch ringing and the most common source is now believed to be in neural cortex (related to memory and overactive neurone feedback) rather than the ear, although the original source is often a defect in ear mechanism, such as a loss at a certain frequency where the brain is attempting to compensate.
    In my case, it is 24x7 for the last 15 years. I can hold a hair dryer up to my head and still hear it.
    The only medically accepted treatments are habituation(TRT)/masking which is teaching your brain to break the fight/flight response.
    There are other techniques that have variable results, such as xanax, hypnosis, vegas nerve stimulation, notched music, and playing tones either side of the tinnitus frequency.
    I heard a quote recently that if you could hear pain, that would be the sound of tinnitus.

  • Re:HEY (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cimexus (1355033) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @05:59PM (#46423365)

    Agreed. There's heaps of excellent new (mostly indie) music being produced these days. Pop, rock, electronica, all genres under the sun. Problem is that most of it doesn't ever make the radio (particularly in the US). You kind of have to go out actively looking for good stuff ... it won't hit you in the face by chance as you'll never hear any of it in the mainstream media or in public places etc.

  • Re:HEY (Score:4, Informative)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @06:18PM (#46423567)

    I'm sick of you young kids no longer listening to the legends of Liszt and Haydn.

  • Re:HEY (Score:5, Informative)

    by melchoir55 (218842) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @09:02PM (#46424817)

    I can't comprehend how someone could not enjoy ANY music, music is the fundamental pre-cursor to language, not only is it deeply ingrained into humans but species as diverse as whales and grasshoppers use music to communicate with each other.

    IAAL (I am a linguist)

    Music is not the fundamental precursor to language. Language is just a fancy way of diong communication. Communication itself is a common thing that organisms do. The likely precursor to human language would be symbolic rperesentation without things like syntax. "Music" doesn't enter into it.

    Animals aren't doing "music", unless by "music" you mean a form of communication which depends on repetitive pitch patterns or something like that. If that is what you mean, then you havnen't managed to distinguish between language and music. Language does that too. Most people think of music as an artistic twist on language. Pitches are held longer than is "normal" in the dialect. A prosody pattern is represented with a guitar rather than a human voice doing actual speech. The list goes on at length.

    Animals are communicating with one another, and they tend to do it in a very similar way to humans. Most animals aren't doing anything you can reasonably call music if you want the words "music", "communication", and "language" to have any distinction. Your example of a whale using music to communicate is anthropormorphization. Whale speech happens to sound like music to you because your brain is keyed to represent certain tones in certain patterns in certain ways. It isn't any different than an a squirrel chriping, it just sounds more beautiful to humans because the tones are low and held for long periods.

    Language is a precursor to music. It isn't the other way around. All that being said, I am surprised there are humans who don't enjoy any kind of music at all at any time. I suspect the results are either being exagerated, the survey results were contaminated, or the people being surveyed had a tenous grasp on language in general

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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