Hello kids, and now for todays music news and interest HIT!
Mega industry magazine Music Week have released a new jobs website – http://www.musicweek4jobs.com/ where you can find all the best music based accounting jobs and occasionally even more exciting jobs.
Todays thoughts – music and personality, can you dig it?
Last autumn the BBC released an article on a study about musical tastes and characteristics by Herriot-Watt University. Apparently the biggest study ever conducted but I reckon various musos and DJs have been studying this on an even bigger scale for the whole of their lives, with everyone they’ve ever met, though those kind of findings are perhaps a little less scientific and quantifiable.
Stereotyping is a powerful thing, back in the day when I worked at a certain big chain record store, our boss asked us to do a workshop day of staff training, part of this involved drawing our ‘typical customer’ on a big poster sheet of paper. We split into groups of two and went to work. Almost everyone there drew the exact same picture, the ‘Indie-boy’ with his long fringe, record bag covered in badges, army cap, blazer, tight roll up jeans, converse trainers… You probably know this character very well, in fact he’s probably your buddy, Stu or Davey or Drew or some such name, a fashionable young male, oh NME you have so much to answer for…
My group drew a variety of people all over the page, there was ‘blues guy’, ‘world folk girl’, ‘indie boy (naturally)’, ‘metal girl’, ‘hiphop guy’, ‘dance guy’ – you get the picture. Our boss then informed us that in fact our most common customer is the 35-65 year old female who has no particular interest in collecting albums from a specific genre of music. We were taken aback, although of course it made sense, they were in buying presents mainly, or picking things up for family members, dvds, games and merchandise . Of course our fictional customers do have a few real life counter parts – we’d met and sold records to them but we’d been so sure of our musical types and that of course music was the most important thing that we hadn’t even thought to consider what we actually sold most of day to day, which was movies. Dvds are the primary sales item for all big chain media entertainment shops like HMV, defunct Zavvi and Fopp etc. To be fair we were a bit of a snobby muso crowd at the time.
Music and fashion have long gone hand in hand but the interesting thing is how we match people up by looks and style to a type of music and then to a type of personality. Often people dress in way that reflects their musical tastes and is part of their shared culture of musical tastes and experiences partly as method of self expression and sometimes in order to make an empathic statement to the world in order to attract other people with similar interests which will communicate a kind of interest and hobby related understanding between the two. If you’ve ever made a new friend in the record aisles or at a concert then maybe you’ve experienced this.
The idea of ‘looks’ for music genres is not a new one, its well trodden ground exploited and enjoyed on a massive scale by the fashion industry and every new generation of teens who discover their own sound.
Music taste and personality is a new area of study for academics. I have personally been told on more than one occasion that I didn’t seem like the kind of person who would love blues (though I do) but would be expected to be a big indie fan. Is that due to my social class position, my ethnicity, my personality, my age, my personality, my dress sense, my job, my friends? Probably all of the above, because of our well worn expectations.
How does a blues fan act? Are they happy or sad? Are metal fans aggressive or mathematical? Are soul lovers good lovers? Well we probably won’t get answers to all of those yet…
The findings of the study could offer some surprises, or perhaps you’ve known all along …
Sourced here from the BBC article the types of music and their associated temperaments
blues = high self-esteem, creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
jazz = high self-esteem, creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
classical = high self-esteem, creative, introverted
rap = high self-esteem, outgoing
opera = high self-esteem, gentle, creative
country and western = hardworking, outgoing
reggae = high self-esteem, not hardworking, creative, outgoing, gentle, at ease
dance = high self-esteem, not gentle
indie = low self-esteem, creative, not hardworking, not gentle
bollywood = creative, outgoing
rock/heavy metal = low self-esteem, creative, not hardworking, gentle, introverted, at ease
chart pop = high self-esteem, not creative, hardworking, outgoing, gentle, not at ease
soul = high self-esteem, outgoing, creative, at ease
Do you see your see yourself there? At this stage in the study things are pretty general, but this is a very large study based on a mass survey of a few key points. We’re still waiting on the official results of the study to come in later this year. Other smaller studies and theories have been put forward but often they don’t want offend anyone so all the characteristics are positive and the giant gleaming problem with that is expressed extremely succinctly by this article, indeed do no sucky people listen to music? My experience have been HUGELY different, there are alot of bad seeds out there listening to the bad seeds.
Nowadays its all about the sub genre, taking one already part removed genre like ’emo’ and created new super-upset-underachieving- macramé-enthusiasts-emo-core and the like. You’re getting down to preferred shades of black for a rainbow of tears. Sometimes we can all get a little too hung up on the genre naming I think.
Its an interesting area of study, but I think the findings are going to have to change with the times, music is always evolving and changing as are people. I reckon also this is an odd period in history when suddenly we have access to any and all kinds of music (providing you’ve got a home, and a home computer, if you’re reading this then its likely you do) at the click of a button. In previous years, you had to work a bit harder to track down the beats of your heart and head 😉