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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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  • Re:HEY (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:56PM (#46422767)

    Plenty of good modern music out there, it's just harder to find or not played on mainstream FM radio as in the 70s.

  • Re:HEY (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:57PM (#46422769) Homepage Journal

    It was an afternoon on the way home from work not long ago. I was warm and I had the windows down on the car, and I was blaring Dazed and Confused, the 30 min live version from TSRTS album. It was during the extender part of Jimmy Page bowing his guitar, just a lot of noise really, and unless you knew this piece on a live recording...you'd not know what this noise was, especially considering the age of the piece.

    Well, I pulled up, rolled up the windows, turned the music down and the car off and got out to walk into the store.

    Just outside the store, a young stock boy, like in his upper teens, was sitting outside smoking a cig on break I guess. As I walked by, he spoke to me and said "Oh man, I love Zeppelin...dazed and confused!!"

    I smiled and said yeah, good stuff or something like that.

    As I walked in the store, I thought more about it and thought, goodness...HTF did he know that song?

    To be fair, the Zep represents that rare breed of musician whose art transcends generations. Just so happens the 1960's and 70's were chock-full of that kind of artist: Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Pink Floyd, the Beatles...

    Well, OK, maybe just those four. Now that I think about it, I don't know anyone under the age of 25 or 26 who can name even one Jefferson Starship or Bread song.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:02PM (#46422837) Homepage Journal

    They must really hate this. [wikipedia.org]

    I do.

    Namely because, to me, it represents that self-serving form of 'performance art,' that has absolutely no artistic value but rather is an expression of the "artists" narcissistic desire to be the center of attention by doing something remarkably weird and/or stupid, and subsequently pontificating on the topic as if they're the first person in history to ever do anything weird and/or stupid. You know, the kind of garbage that art snobs devour.

    FWIW, I despise most of Andy Warhol's work for pretty much the same reasons.

  • Music (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:10PM (#46422897) Homepage

    I have never bought a record, tape, CD, MP3 or anything else in my life.

    Music is one of those things that just has no part in my life. I can appreciate it. I've been to concerts and ochestras. I quite enjoy it. But not enough to listen to it on loop 24 hours a day.

    I spent many years spending hours travelling in the car with the radio on. It was for nothing else but to cure the "drone" of the car. I've not missed having it since I quit that job and don't travel far enough to even turn the radio on any more.

    You know how the average person consider paintings? That's me with music. Yeah, I might have a few that I like, but I don't consume them all day long. I have enough to adorn my stereo to cover the occasional awkward silence and that's about it, and most of those someone has bought for me or I've been given for free.

    I disable all music in games. It's the first thing I do before I even try the game - install, load up, turn off music. I just find it a distraction and don't get any value from it at all. (And yet, I have written games and put music into them because I understand some people like that).

    If I do listen to anything, it's gentle, smooth music with predictable backings. Think "Sitting on the dock of the bay". I don't even have a single music file on my phone.

    It's not something important to me, nor is it something I hate (there's a lot of music I hate, but it's not enough to be generalised hate of music). I can go to parties where music is playing and not go out of my mind, but my preference is no music.

    Think of that next time you write a game and INSIST that the volume slider affects both sound effects and background music. You're just annoying me for no good reason.

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:10PM (#46422911) Homepage
    Until I was 30 I disliked most forms of music. Frankly I was shocked that so many people thought sound designed to influence their mental state was a good idea. Especially when you most often have no choice about what is playing.

    Then I found dance and I fell in love with tango.

    If I had not found it I might still dislike music.

    It does not surprise me that 1-3% of the population has not found music they like - yet.

  • Re:HEY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:12PM (#46422931)

    So very little music you hear out today can be considered "musical" at all.

    I prefer the days (I'm a rock/blues type) when people/groups generally wrote their own songs, played their own instruments, and aside from a bit of reverb, and other treatments shy of fucking Autotune...had real vocals on their songs.

    I hope this is sarcasm.

    Every generation has great well crafted music, and every one has outside-written, overproduced pop that "real music" fans loathe. Believe it or not, we STILL have rock and blues. Just because you haven't made an attempt to find it doesn't mean it isn't there. It's hilarious that when people compare their favorite older music to modern music they always compare it to top-40 pop rather than the actual genre that would match. That autotune sentence of yours topped it off for me.

    Somehow you manage to make Zeppelin and the Beatles represent the late 60s (not Three Dog Night or Neil Diamond), yet you automatically make pop radio music represent current music rather than, the MANY MANY bands who are extremely talented and creative without needing a lot of producing.

    Ok, now, get off my lawn, and lemme get my anti-static gun to "clear" my album I'm about to throw on the turntable.

    ...

    We still have turntables and EVERY BAND STILL RELEASES VINYL. I have vinyls of all of the music I consistently listen to and the only time I listen to MP3 is when I'm traveling.

    Before you rant about an entire generation of musicians, please at least try to learn something first.

  • Re:HEY (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @05:50PM (#46423885) Journal
    I grew up in the 60's and 70's, really good music has always been "harder to find", only cream of 70's musicians lived on, the rest were promptly forgotten. Same with any era, my adult kids still listen to the Nirvana and Gun's and Roses they grew up with and enjoy it just as much as I enjoy Floyd and Marley. The difference since about the late 80's is that parents and their children often have similar tastes in music.

    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.

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