As It Happens, I was listening to same this evening and heard a cool article. It was about research done at the University of Leicester by Adrian North, on the relationship between people’s lifestyles relative to their musical tastes (or lack thereof). He found some clear correlations, and while many were obvious, others were surprising.
For example, people who really like Opera tend to be much more suicidal and prone to traffic accidents than people who like Pop and Country music; he posits that this may be related to the dark and violent subject matter in much of Opera. Maybe they should have ratings like movies? Hmmmm. I wonder if this dark tendency is exaggerated in those who listen to the entire Ring Cycle, then watch Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now. North also mentioned that if he dropped his wallet, the person most likely to return it would be a Country and Western devotee; in fact, he said this group generally had the nicest and most neighborly people.
To honor these people Barbara Budd played (I think) “I love my dog”. It seems they are also more likely to have pets.
Just for fun, here are some random results from the survey:
- Least likely to use drugs: Musicals devotees (23.4%)
- Most likely to use Cannabis: DJ based music lovers (64%)
- 13% of Opera lovers have used Magic Mushrooms
- Received a Driving Violation: greatest percentages are 49% of Blues lovers and 45% of Opera lovers. Moral, don’t listen to Carmen and drive
- Protestants have the strongest propensities for Musicals (48%), Adult Pop (47%), and Rock(47%)
- Catholics are more catholic in their tastes, but do have a slight preference for Country and Western and Opera (20% each). As long as there is no fusion…
- Vegetarions prefer R&B, Soul, and Opera (15-18%)
- Left wing people prefer Sixties pop; right wing people prefer Country and Western, followed by Opera (but the percentage of left and right wing people that like Opera are both about 32-34%)
- Homeowners: 84% of Classically inclined people own their own
- Currently Married: Classical at 69%
- Have had a divorce: Greatest are Opera and Adult Pop
- Largest difference by sex in a musical preference: Current pop with 83% women and only 17% men loving it.
- Smallest difference by sex in a musical preference: Indie and DJ based, at 49-51%
- Most likely to have Internet access: Indie (79%)
- Most likely to have a cell phone: R&B (82%)
- Highest percentage of charitable volunteers: Jazz, Opera, Classical, then Musicals
- Lowest percentage for same: Sixties pop
- Employed: Adult pop (86%)
- Unemployed: DJ based (11%)
- Retired: Opera (32%)
- Frequency of Bathing: Least is Opera (see previous), most is Other pop, DJ-based, and Soul
- Smoke too much: Blues (I have the nicotine smoking junkie blues, oh yeeah…)
BTW, as a side note there is an International Association of Empirical Aesthetics. What an intriguing name. Aesthetics by trial and error? 😉