Social Question

SergeantQueen's avatar

Does someone's taste in music reflect on their personality?

Asked by SergeantQueen (11751points) April 4th, 2017

I listen to a band that has a very satanic influence, but I am not in any way a satanist.
Would you assume someone is rude or mean or “satanic” because they listen to heavy metal? This question applies to all musical genres, I only used heavy metal and rude/mean behavior as an example. This could also apply to people who think that those who listen to jazz are more laid back, etc.
I don’t personally think someone’s musical taste shows who they are as a person, but some people do. If you are one of those people, could you explain why?

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33 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

No, it is more a reflection of their age and their taste. Heavy metal doesn’t really tell me much about a fan other than they are most likely born between 1965 and 1990.

I sure don’t think Blue Oyster Cult fans are really all that satanic.

People don;t pick up on jazz because they are laid back, they acquire the taste after being exposed to it a bit.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I agree with you @zenvelo
I was prompted to ask this question after getting called a satanist because I said I listen to a band called Ghost. I don’t get the correlation between musical taste and political/religious beliefs.

snowberry's avatar

I pay a lot of attention to the lyrics. If I can’t understand what is being sung that really bothers me.

Once I was working a temporary job and another temp started playing music with lyrics that really bothered me. It was all about raping women, abusing them and on and on. I finally went to my boss and explained that if this man had actually been saying these things to me, it would qualify as sexual harassment of the worst kind.

I asked her to please make them turn it off, and she did. Were the lyrics satanic? I don’t know. Maybe. But they were certainly inappropriate.

Zaku's avatar

Multiple levels of NO going on there.

As you know, enjoying Ghost doesn’t mean you’re a Satanist in any way. Music can be enjoyed as music regardless of the content or even musical style or mood, for many layers of reasons, such as:

* There are many different ways to enjoy things.
* Enjoying something doesn’t mean that the person enjoying is any particular way, other than someone who is enjoying whatever that is.
* Even if enjoyment of some particular music did imply something about someone, why would that imply something about their personality.
* Even if someone enjoys some lyrical content (or any poetic or fictional or other verbal content), it doesn’t mean they align with it in any particular way.
* Even if someone were highly aligned with the lyrical content, that doesn’t equate to a personality.

Probably other layers of NO.

And, just because a music style does not mean someone is any other way, that also does not prevent people from identifying with music or aligning with some aspect of it, which they may or may not have invented.

For example, I do enjoy some rather dark satirical and/or menacing/angry punk rock music, and I also do align with much of the messages, and I feel like some others who align with those messages in similar ways would share some sympathies with me at least on those subjects. I also think probably a lot of people who don’t get or agree with those messages are a bit not like me in that way, and would probably have a really hard time enjoying the music unless they took it the wrong way (which is entirely possible, particularly since it’s satirical, and I’ve seen idiot skinheads get into it too) or didn’t think about the words at all. And, it has hardly anything to do with my personality except possibly in a moment if I’m worked up about one of the song’s content. I also like many other styles of music whose mood and other qualities are entirely different.

Sneki95's avatar

[eyeroll] No.
I’ll elaborate more on this when I get the time.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I think musical taste generally reflects a person’s age, not someone’s personality.

It’s said that the music loved at age 20 be the music loved for life. I think there’s some truth in that. The WWII generation never stopped enjoying Big Bands; people who came of age during the 1950s still like early rock-and-roll and doo-wop; for me, it was the mid-70s, and I continue to play old Bruce Springsteen LPs and “classic rock.”

kritiper's avatar

No. I have known people who listen to country-western or country pop music and they are quite smart.

Rarebear's avatar

I’m a banjo player and I like bluegrass. But I’m pretty stupid so it fits with my personality.

Strauss's avatar

@Rarebear After playing many instruments in many genres for many years, I am today, actually, starting to learn to play the banjo.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Maybe. I think it’s more reflective of their age, generally speaking.

Rarebear's avatar

@Strauss Oh, I’m so, so sorry. My condolences.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Anyone who does not realize ghost is tongue in cheek is an idiot and you can tell them to their face that I said it. I have all their albums and I am most certainly not a satanist. I’m not even christian. Your musical tastes do reveal you to a degree. There were a couple of studies of highly gifted college students that shows they disproportionally gravitate to heavy metal. It makes sense, it’s diverse, complicated and takes work to understand. There is also the social isolation and a bit of introversion often in gifted kids that lead them to desire a heavy thrashing and beautiful release that the sound of dropped D through heavy distortion and palm muting brings. Modern heavy metal is progressing and most similar to jazz or classical. There was another study that shows cognitive styles of classical fans and heavy metal fans were identical. I have been a head banger my whole life, I have also studied classical music. My sisters are both highly trained classical concert musicians. They hate metal though and I honestly believe it’s because they were never willing to accept anything taboo. Metal fans are not afraid of novelty seeking. I have been called a satanist too. The people who do that reveal themselves as having a most narrow world view.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Rarebear I “play“a little banjo too

Rarebear's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me I knew there was something off about you…

flutherother's avatar

I don’t assume anything about people who listen to heavy metal as all types of people seem to enjoy it.

tinyfaery's avatar

No, just their tastes.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I like Weird Al Yankovic. White and Nerdy, Amish Paradise, and Smells Like Nirvana . I get my jollies from the absurd.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Of course it tells us something about their personality. One’s tastes are part of one’s personality. [Are those apostrophe’s correct?]

ragingloli's avatar

Yes. Anyone who does not like the same music I like, is evil.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m evil, and I’m happy.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I know that Ghost isn’t probably truly a satanic band. They do venture on that side though which is why I said what I did, but that’s beside the point. I don’t think people should be taking one’s music taste into account so heavily that it makes them call other people names, etc. @ARE_you_kidding_me That study you mentioned was interesting, I’ll have to look into that more.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Most people, franking, are walking cliches and frequently ones taste in music will reflect that, but by itself musical taste says nothing of one’s personality.

There are, yes, some really bright, intelligent people who listen to heavy metal. But there are also no shortage of mouth-breathing troglodytes who listen to it as well. Plenty of bright folks who listen to jazz music. Also plenty of dullards who like to use jazz music to give themselves a false sense of intellectual superiority because they have little else going for them. And so on and so forth…

rojo's avatar

I don’t believe so. What if you have someone like me who likes a wide variety of musical styles? What does that say?

Strauss's avatar

@rojo I have noticed that you and I both have extremely openminded attitudes about a lot of things. I’m not sure if the fact that we are both also extremely open-minded about music is a coincidence, or if it’s a correlation.

rojo's avatar

@Strauss It is possible that the two align. An open mind will be more accepting to a variety of stimuli. And, conversely, a more narrowly focused mind will accept and enjoy a much narrower spectrum.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

In a way, it could be like that. Music are subjective but the different effect derived from different music are facts. IIRC, there studies that show how music like heavy metal and classical can affect plant growth differently, how much milk produced by cow, and how baby can grow smarter/creative by listening to classical alone. I should conclude that music affect more of our mood than our personality.

Seek's avatar

There’s a great book called “This Is Your Brain on Music”.

I recommend it to everyone who wants to know more about what you’re musical tastes say about you.

To the op – you can absolutely listen to Satanic music without being a Satanist, or Odinist music without being an Odinist, or Christian music without being a Christian.

If you like it, bully for you.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Short answer is no.

I think it depends on why a person finds entertainment in the music. I personally don’t like some songs for the same reasons. I might like a slow,sad song because I can identify with the composer’s words. I might like a pop, or rap song because of the beat, bass, and rhythm. Sometimes I just like instrumental music.

Some songs are just “catchy.” They inexplicably appeal to many genres, ages, and personality types. 100 people may like a certain song for 100 different reasons.

It may tell you more about a person to know what music they don’t like.

I love most types of music. But I hate most religious music, and most modern country music. One could infer (correctly in this case) that I am an atheist, or don’t like religion. Then based on how they feel about people who are opposed to religion, they might form an opinion about me.

kritiper's avatar

My brother kinda plays the banjo. He can’t get the hang of that 5th string so he tunes it like a guitar and nobody knows the difference.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I can play the banjo. Gimme one and I’ll prove it.

Rarebear's avatar

You can’t be any worse than I am Dutch

sone's avatar


raum's avatar

I miss Darth and his taste in music.
And him calling people mouth-breathing troglodytes.

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