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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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  • by BisuDagger (3458447) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:25PM (#46422399)
    The amount of statistical information in the OP and the bonus "online quiz" has made this the /. article of the day!
    • Re:Mind = Blown (Score:5, Informative)

      by mythosaz (572040) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:37PM (#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.

  • HEY (Score:5, Funny)

    by marcello_dl (667940) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:26PM (#46422411) Homepage Journal

    I didn't know there were so many fans of Bieber.

    • Re:HEY (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:47PM (#46422653) Homepage Journal
      Exactly.

      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 guess that's why I still see young kids of today, wearing AC/DC or Stones' tshirts (reproductions), and listening to Led Zeppelin, when they should have really come up with giants of music of their own day to replace the ones of my day.

      I was shocked the other day really.

      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?

      Its that the old stuff is still around...because something happened along the way, and nothing really great or unifying in music happened much after my younger years, and the old stuff is still strong enough to keep a following. It hasn't been supplanted yet.

      I think part of it was...most music through my era, had been very closely built or nicked from the music of the generation before it. Somewhere in the late 80s or 90's maybe, there was a break in the continuum. And music splintered, and money took over...and well, you just didn't get the continuing stream of artist with control over their music and time to hone their skills, style and following like say a Led Zeppelin did. Music became throw away, and while there have always been one hit wonders, that is now the norm. Groups don't earn or aren't given a chance to develop staying power. Or, maybe they just don't work as hard to know their instruments and music. I dunno.

      Maybe some combination of all of the above.

      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.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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, Informative)

          by Cimexus (1355033) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:59PM (#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.

        • by cayenne8 (626475)

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

          Possibly...

          But maybe that's one of the things that went wrong...I mean since there's no real good mainstream way to easily discover new good music, if it is there but not easily accessible, then it really "isn't there" in actuality.

          I mean, unless you're a kid or still living on the parents' teet, to have the free time to actively search for good music in the sea of banality, you don't see a

          • by fisted (2295862)
            there are services like last.fm. i typically have it play, and it's mostly playing stuff i don't know yet (although of a genre i like). when i notice i like the currently playing track, i can mark it as "loved" (conversely one can ban tracks you're sure not to want to hear again).

            As time passes, the list of "loved" tracks grows, and every couple months or so i leech it all off^W^W^W^Wpurchase legit copies of the tracks i marked loved.
        • 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.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Its true, I have no feelings for any music I have had friends in the past try exposing me to different forms of music thinking that it was just because I haven't found what I liked nothing worked.

            I can appreciate the skill that some musical forms take (like complex singing or skilful instrument playing) but have no feelings for any of the musical forms. I don't like or dislike any form of music apart from my appreciation for the skill.

            I have not been in any accidents have suffered no trauma, I own no music

          • Re:HEY (Score:5, Informative)

            by melchoir55 (218842) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @08:02PM (#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

            • by Laser Dan (707106)

              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.

              Interesting to know that 1-3% are like me.
              I will clarify this for you.

              I have zero interest in music. I have never bought (or pirated) a CD or mp3 in my life.
              Why people are so obsessed with music I can't understand at all.
              It's like how some people looove stamp collecting, I don't understand that obsession either.

              It's not a DISlike of music, it's just no interest.
              Sure some music has a good beat, or a catchy tune, and I won't complain if someone plays music, but I would never actually choose to play music myse

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          I'd add that while it is harder to find than mainstream music, it is easier to find good music than ever in the history of mankind. YouTube alone can keep you exploring music for hours at a time.

      • 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.

        • by Megane (129182)

          To be fair, the '80s had its share of good stuff too. The Police, Phil Collins both Genesis and solo, David Bowie, Huey Lewis, Michael Jackson before he got too weird, and a load of one-hit-wonders. (And nobody can name any Starship songs from the '80s either, except the heavily overplayed and overrated We Built This City.) I've got an iTunes playlist called "'80s Radio", which I have been filling up as I acquire old used CDs to rip from. It's mostly stuff from 1975-1988 (with some earlier stuff too) that y

          • by cayenne8 (626475)

            Oh, and I think you forgot to mention The Rolling Stones, man.

            The Stones and the Beatles are implied.

            :)

            The Stones (of their day) are my favorite band to listen to still.

          • To be fair, the '80s had its share of good stuff too. The Police, Phil Collins both Genesis and solo, David Bowie, Huey Lewis, Michael Jackson before he got too weird, and a load of one-hit-wonders.

            Those two sentences seem contradictory.

            Ba-dum psht.

            All kidding aside, although I'm not a fan of most of the groups you mentioned (with the exception of MJ, as he was quite awesome before the Pepsi commercial incident got him hooked on opiates), I'm not questioning whether or not the music was "good" - I'm saying that certain groups, such as the Zep, transcend generations, which is why those teenagers in OP's anecdote knew that he was listening to Dazed and Confused.

            As for 90's music, They've been playing Ni

        • To be fair, the Zep represents that rare breed of musician

          "Oh by the way, which one's Pink

      • 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.

      • Most digital paintings today have more subtlety, detail, accuracy, imagination, symbology and depth than the paintings of the great maestros of old - and there are exponentially larger numbers of them being churned out.

        But something about the originals makes them "better".

        I think it has something to do with simply being at the right place at the right time - like the beatles. The beatles didn't really make the era, the era made the beatles.

        If you don't think that the cultural climate has more
      • Well you got to remember. There is that the new generations "greats" are Justin Bieber's. But also these bands are often still playing. There are lots of 60-70 year old rockers out their still playing concerts.

        I think it is simply the money angle. You make more money taking some nobody off of the street, getting him to sign over 99.5% of their income for 5 years, making them a star overnight, and then dropping them when the contract runs out and they demand more money. They do not have to be good, even the

        • There are lots of 60-70 year old rockers out their still playing concerts.

          How very true, but I had two similar experiences recently.

          Several years ago(2-3?), ZZ Top was in town for a show.
          Myself, the wife, and stepdaughter all went.
          The two gals had a great time, and enjoyed the show.
          Me? Well, I spent approximately 3/4 the show trying to figure out what I was hearing, occasional clear bits would shine through the muddy noise, and I could ID the song.

          I just chalked it up to some weird mixing and/or accoustic envoirment.(outdoors)

          Then later that same year, Ozzie Osbourne was playing

          • by hurfy (735314)

            Both perhaps.
            HArd to believe the big boys would be that bad. Went to Kiss concert and I wanted to knock the guy off the soundboard for the warmup band...sooner or later I'd have found the volume control for lead vocals myself..he sure couldn't seem to find it. Kiss themselves sounded ok tho...no comment on the tech that effed up the video displays tho.

            Can we assume these un-music people never get a song stuck in their head ?!?

      • Re:HEY (Score:4, Informative)

        by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @05:18PM (#46423567)

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

      • http://azpeacemakers.com/ [azpeacemakers.com]

        http://www.peacetimegoods.com/... [peacetimegoods.com]
        http://www.peacetimegoods.com/... [peacetimegoods.com]

      • by jxander (2605655)

        Once music started to make a ton of money, it shifted from an art to a business

        Why wait for years while bands practice, learn instruments, tour to build a following and all that... skip it. Tell people "here's the latest band to be exited about," and just auto-tune them, have studio musicians play on the CDs, and lip sync in concert. We can now do in days or weeks what used to take years. And then we move onto the next big thing. There's no money to be made in people wearing the same band's tshirt for y

      • by geekoid (135745)

        "So very little music you hear out today can be considered "musical" at all."
        bullshit. I could go on and on with current music that is, be any definition musical.

        There where people in your day(mine to from the sound of it) That thought the previous generation was real music, and so on.

        " And music splintered, and money took over"
        says everyone who doesn't like a shift in music for all time.

        "and while there have always been one hit wonders, that is now the norm."
        No, it's always mostly been one hit wonders. The

      • My creds, I saw the original broadcast of that first Beatles' performance on Ed Sullivan; I was 17 at the time (and really envious of all the attention they got from those girls.)

        Now to try to make an objective comment, or at least to try to figure out the phenonemon from an objective rather than a 'get off my lawn'/'children no longer respect their parents' perspective.

        The technologies of recording and broadcasting must have profoundly affected our relationship to music. I say 'must have' because I've nev

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        Its that the old stuff is still around...because something happened along the way, and nothing really great or unifying in music happened much after my younger years, and the old stuff is still strong enough to keep a following. It hasn't been supplanted yet.

        I think you still have your rose colored glasses on.

        That's the stuff I listen to too, but remember, you are listening to the best of the 70s.. Just like people are "still" listening to the best of the 50s and 60s..

        There's still lots of popular (literal

      • And the article is about people who don't like that. Everything that you mentioned, that you like, that you consider musical, there are people who apparently do not like that.

        Your whole diatribe is unoriginal, derivative, and pretty much off topic, because we are not talking about musical taste here. This is about people who, for whatever reason, don't like music of *any* kind.

        There was a story I CBA finding again, but so many people responded with comments like, why doesn't that dude listen to music? He

  • Another psychological pseudo experiment that draws incredibly stupid conclusions from a meaningless, waste of time, poorly thought out, mess. Read the description of what they did.
  • by scorp1us (235526) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:28PM (#46422437) Journal

    XKCD [xkcd.com]

  • Oliver Sacks (Score:3, Informative)

    by snooz_crash (802357) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:32PM (#46422477)
    ...has already written about this phenomenon. http://www.oliversacks.com/books/musicophilia/ [oliversacks.com]
  • Jazz (Score:5, Funny)

    by Curate (783077) <craigbarkhouse@hotmail.com> on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:32PM (#46422483)
    I know a few people who can't stand music of any kind. They prefer jazz.
  • Ringing in my Ears (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Danathar (267989) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:33PM (#46422493) Journal

    Most of my youth was listening to Rush, Metallica and other hard rock/Metal bands of the 80's.

    As a result I have ringing in my ears that I only notice when it's silent.

    Have you ever heard "The Silence is Deafening?" Well, for me silence can literally BE deafening.

    • by Morpeth (577066) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:50PM (#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 Morpeth (577066)

        which unfortunately medicine HAS NOT been able to cure/resolve yet - sorry bout that

    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      Meh, I get that when I start hyperventilating. You should just have your blood pressure checked.

      I kinda thought that I didn't like music either, then some slashdot post recommended one of the streams at http://somafm.com/ [somafm.com] . Since then I've actually spent some money on an album or two. Though I still don't have an "entertainment" budget set aside to speak of.

      Also want to put in a plug for http://sleepbot.com/ambience/b... [sleepbot.com] , which is generally "not music", at least not as you know it.

      • by rts008 (812749)

        You should just have your blood pressure checked.

        That's HOW I keep track of my blood pressure, you insensitive clod!

        All lame jokes aside, the volume and pitch of my tinnitus changes with my BP changes.

        If it's louder than normal, and higher pitched than normal, it's usually a sign I have forgotten to take my BP med.'s.

    • by labnet (457441) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:07PM (#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.

    • The ringing is your brains signalling your taste center has never grown in, as you grow older but not wiser the ringing will increase trying to signal you to develop some taste and individuality.

      Really? Metallica?

      Have you no shame whatsoever?

  • by bitt3n (941736)
    those people don't prefer silence. they just like to listen to the same song over and over, without, one might note, ever giving a dime to the original artist. [wikipedia.org]
  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:40PM (#46422569)
    • 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.

      • by Anrego (830717) *

        Totally with you.

        Sometimes abstract art is actually novel, or does something in a way that actually expresses something.

        This type of shit is just pretentious and boring.

      • 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.

        I can understand your dislike of self-absorbed narcissistic artists, but I don't think it's fair to put John Cage in that category. After all, 4'33" was not the only thing he wrote. He was completely serious about composing, and was quite prolific and innovative.

        To paraphrase Arnold Schoenberg (one of his teachers) Cage was more of an inventor than a composer. Some of his music is highly approachable, similar in style to Eric Satie (whom Cage admired greatly.) Some of his prepared-piano pieces are fasci

      • Then you didn't get it. That's fine. You can be ignorant if you accept it. It follows from many ideas Cage had developed through the progression of his career. It is actually quite predictable given his previous presentations, and even more obvious if you are familiar with his music.

        It is, quite literally, the complete opposite of being the first person in history to do something, since he had spoken at length on the subject, and had already written that in many small instances prior. And it is quite l

  • what a horrendously designed experiment. Population bias? Sample size? Different musical tastes? I don't know about the rest of you, but i'd prefer silence over that what is "popular" these days.
  • "...the students were asked to listen to popular music and rate how pleasurable they considered each song." I have to wonder how many hipster-types just dont find popular music pleasurable. I for one cant find much Pop music, as that is what pop basicallly means; or for that matter much popular music all that pleasurable. The overwhelming majority of it hits that subliminal message trigger in my brain. That and ask most music majors or theorists. much of it is composed of the same limited set of chord pro
    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      It really depends on the person. I can honestly say I plain don't care for music (though I actually enjoy old chip tunes from the NES/SNES days, but there's nostalgia enjoyed). I've heard a pretty wide variety of stuff, too. I could maybe name 30 songs I actually like, but I wouldn't be bothered if I never heard them again. I prefer silence or an audiobook.

  • by meta-monkey (321000) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:44PM (#46422605) Journal

    In other news, 1-3% of /. articles aren't complete shit.

  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:44PM (#46422615) Homepage Journal

    As soon as I start singing, they throw rotten fruit at me!

  • by hey! (33014) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:47PM (#46422651) Homepage Journal

    Let's discard the people who can't recognize tunes or recognize emotions in music -- although they are interesting in themselves. Can the people who don't like music be trained to like music? In other words do they lack associated life experiences with music?

    Another question is whether a better understanding would lead to enjoyment. We tend *not* to like music we haven't been exposed to (e.g. foreign music or young people's music).

    Personally, I like to listen to music when I'm building something; this also correlates to what works for me when listening to lectures. I seldom need to look at notes, but I have to take them otherwise my mind wanders. I can even doodle, it doesn't matter. Somehow having my hands occupied seems to help my mind track external stimuli better.

    • by ThatAblaze (1723456) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:21PM (#46423007)

      No.

      I am one of the 1-3% mentioned. When I put my headphones on it's always an audio book. When I'm not listening to a book or doing something useful I find silence to be a lot more fulfilling than music. Music just gets in the way of constructive thought, and once you have heard a song a couple of times you've heard the song. Time to move on to something new.

      Music just seems like a low-productivity and meaninglessly repetitive medium, irregardless of the quality of the song being played.

      This is something I've always believed, but this is the first time I've ever seen that belief validated in any way by anyone. I think society does an excellent job of training people to like music already, and of telling people that they are weird if they don't.

      • by hey! (33014)

        I'm not saying you *should* like music, questioning your personal experience with music, or challenging your position on the value of music.

        What I'm interested is in whether the ability to like music or not is "baked in", either by genetics or early childhood experience. I think there's a good chance it could be, given the close relationship of music to language and what we think we know about neural plasticity and learning language. But that's just a hunch. Maybe it's a wrong hunch.

        Who knows? Maybe if

        • I've felt the emotion inherent in a particularly poignant melody. I've enjoyed songs. It's not a switch, it's a priority. I prefer to take in information or to process information that I have previously taken in. I find music to be the same mental state repeated over and over again.

          I actually think it's due to having more ability than the common person to self-modulate my mental state, not less. I don't need music to put myself in a particular state of mind. I can do that all on my own. When I am in a group

      • by Cinder6 (894572)

        I'm the same way as you, so you aren't alone.

  • by jmichaelg (148257) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:53PM (#46422727) Journal
    Richard Feynman said music sounded like noise to him. Didn't make any difference what type of music it was. He did however, like rhythm which is why he played percussion instruments.
  • http://www.cell.com/current-bi... [cell.com]

    Voice-Sensitive Regions in the Dog and Human Brain Are Revealed by Comparative fMRI

    Highlights
    This is the first comparative neuroimaging study of a nonprimate species and humans
    Functional analogies were found between dog and human nonprimary auditory cortex
    Voice areas preferring conspecific vocalizations were evidenced in the dog brain

  • 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.

    • Our society is so mindlessly pro music that whenever I've told people that "I don't like music" they look at me with a blank stare. It's just not something you are allowed to say in society today because some people define their lives by what music they like and what music they don't like. I, personally, find music to be a waste of time and meaninglessly repetitive in most situations.

      Cudos to the people who made this study for bringing this phenomenon out into the open. For a long time the people who spend

      • by Cinder6 (894572)

        Yeah, there's always that awkward silence when somebody finds out that *gasp* you don't listen to music. I think people tend to find it a little more acceptable when I "explain" that I listen to audiobooks, because they absolutely cannot fathom the idea of driving in silence.

    • I was going to say "This ^. This is me", But you lost me at games.

      I think music is fine, but sort of 1 dimensional and boring theoretically. When I have listened to it I enjoy it, but is has never formed a habit so I only do it when I make myself do it once every few years.

      I do not understand why it really exists in society, but it is an incredibly important part of other media. You cannot make a game without music, for the vast majority of projects. It is so incredibly important, for that purpose.

      • by Cinder6 (894572)

        While I never listen to music, I think it has its place in games and movies. The music can help to convey the emotion of the scene, or the action going on in the game, in such a way that it heightens the experience. But it doesn't serve that purpose for me just as general listening. I don't need (or want) a soundtrack for my life. If I'm feeling down, I don't need a perky song to cheer me up or help me relax. Music, of just about any kind, tends to make me feel agitated. It's usually extremely repetitive an

    • by nblender (741424)

      I'm the opposite. If I don't have music playing, then my brain continuously replays the last thing I heard, ad-nauseum. After a couple hours of that, I get irritable and lose the ability to concentrate. I notice it most when sitting on the tractor mowing, or tilling, or blowing snow. Some mindless activity that requires little thought but still some concentration... If I can put something in my head, I become instantly happier.

      I even wake up with the same song in my head that was there when I went to be

    • by wjcofkc (964165)
      What about Ravel Bolero?
  • 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.

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:13PM (#46422947)

    RIAA's Response: These people *claim* not to like music? Why that's unamerican! If this catches on, the entire music industry will collapse!!!!! We must pass immediate legislation declaring "not liking music" to be illegal. To prove consumers like music, they will be required to purchase at least three albums from RIAA-approved labels every year. Failure to do so will be considered proof that the consumer is actually an Internet pirate stealing our works and will be sued into oblivion.

  • by ohieaux (2860669) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:15PM (#46422959)
    I've seen estimates from the US government at 2%. Sounds like 1-3% wouldn't be able to hear music anyway. Didn't RTFA, perhaps they accounted for that.
  • ... there is still rap.

  • I always wondered if my relative dislike of music was a symptom of my anti-social personality. Does anyone know anything about this idea, does the original article go into other similarities these people share/the reason they are like this?

    • I don't think so. I think society in general is still in the WHAT?? you can't not like music!! phase. There are still quite a few phases to go though before the general population will be able to comprehend that it's not a disability.

    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      I think I can relate to that. I'm quite introverted so I need a lot of time on my own to "hear my own thoughts". I also don't like listening to music very much. OTOH, I'm kind of a musician, and I generally prefer instrumental pieces. I can feel similarities between social yapping and music with lots of lyrics. Making music is great, listening is kind of meh -- I guess it's like the difference between doing some sports yourself and watching it. (I've never understood the fascination of self-proclaimed stra

  • Not read the article (sorry, it's just tradition not to), but sounds like me - The only music I really tend to like is music that reminds me of my youth - nothing else much inspires me or attracts me.

  • People never want to believe that, but I've never much cared for music. I think music can enhance the mood of another form of media like movies or video games, and I can enjoy the lyrics to a funny song, in same way I enjoy hearing a good joke but don't want it told to me over and over again. That's as far as it goes. I don't listen to any music for the sake of listening to music. The only music I own at home are sound tracks that came with video games I've purchased, none of which I've ever used.

    I find mus

  • Not a problem, since it can be attributed as a psychiatric disorder in some; you give them some LSD
    http://science.slashdot.org/st... [slashdot.org] (since the flood gates have opened).

    Dark Side of the Moon on the home theater, Wizard of OZ showing but no sound , it'll will show em what it's all about.

  • If you find what they consider music they would like it. Problem is most of what is considered music is complete trash, and barely more than coordinated noise.

  • I don't 'dislike' music, but I'm pretty indifferent to it. My phone is loaded up with audiobooks and podcasts - I listen to those while commuting (on transit), walking the dog or puttering in the garage. There's no music on it at all.

    In the car I'll naturally gravitate to the CBC (or NPR if I'm near the border).

    If the band on SNL is interesting, I'll listen as opposed to skipping ahead, but I haven't actually bought any music in years.
  • Actually to be fair, I probably don't quite fit the criteria. I don't entirely dislike music but I genuinely don't particularly care much about it. I would never, ever listen to music alone. Example relaxing to a book and music (or ghasp, just music alone) simply not an option.
    I've never been to a concert.

    I listen to about 10 to 20 hours a year, generally I use it to assist cleaning the house (although podcasts are replacing it there) I also sometimes have music running when I'm grocery shopping or on

  • The last ten years or so,, I've found that I just don't care that much any more about music. I actually listen to a lot of music these days, but that's an environmental issue, not because I like it. I listen to music pretty much all day every day while at work because I work in an open plan office and the headphones, and the music they play, are the way I eliminate distractions so I can focus. I don't really listen to the music, though... I have no idea at any given time what song played last, for example.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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