The Personality of Music

Music is arguably one of the most influential, personal things in an individual’s life. It serves as a form of therapy, a companion, a hobby and a passion. As a result, it is safe to say that music has the power to completely shape any person it affects. There are so many genres to pick from in music’s repertoire including: rock, pop, hip-hop, country, indie, R&B, metal, electronica and a myriad more. In saying that, all these genres are structured based on particular characteristics which, in turn, appeal to different individuals, which brings me to the question, do people reflect the genres they listen to? Jane Collingwood analyses this theory within her article ‘Preferred Music Style Is Tied to Personality’.

This article illustrates that the music genre that an individual is most interested in strongly correlates with: their personalities, their clothing, their hobbies, the way they talk and even the places they go. Collingwood identifies the research of Professor Adrian North, an expert on music psychology, who organized the ‘largest study involving both musical interests and personality types’ (Collingwood, 2013) This study was performed over 3 years with more than 36,000 from more than 60 countries, demonstrating thorough research and a commitment to the cause. In able for the study to be successful and examined, it required those involved to rank a wide array of music genres and styles based on their own personal preference.
The results concluded that:

Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease
Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease
Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle
Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing
Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle
Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing…. (Collingwood, 2013)

North ‘believes that his results show why people can get defensive about what they like to listen to, as it is likely to be profoundly linked to their outlook on life’ (Collingwood, 2013)

I believe that any music appreciator would find this article particularly interesting as it may reveal significant information that was not previously thought of. By reading this article, the reader may find that they can relate to it’s content or identify these trends with someone they know.

In regards to research, it is clear that the Collingwood has used North’s study has the main source for her article, accurately represented his findings and staying faithful to integrity of his findings. The results from the questionaire alone proves and defends the main argument of the article.



One thought on “The Personality of Music

  1. I think this a strong and very in-depth analysis especially considering the 500 word limit that we have. I never thought of people’s personalities resinating with the genre of music that they listen to, so for me this article was so interesting. Your analysis was easy to understand and I feel like I don’t need to have read the article to understand the methodology or the results of the research.

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