Music, like sex, is an emotional experience. It transforms you, changes you and molds you into the person you define yourself as today. It evolves with our taste and our experiences. It's the most important thing in our lives and the one constant we can all hold on to.
Like Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any other religion, our music choice is an indicator of who we are and what we believe. It’s how we interpret the world and is a large identifier of our personalities. It's also why people who have the same taste in music get along so well.
There are hundreds of music genres with billions of fans as specific and selective as the categories themselves. Everyone belongs to a distinct category with a specific idea of whom they align themselves with.
It’s no wonder that those who have similar taste in music are more compatible.
Have you ever met someone and started talking about music? It's that insatiable rush that comes when two strangers spark over a common interest, an identical pulse that runs through them.
It’s this instant attraction that creates a bond, and this bond can last long past the ones that are created around similar classes or sports teams.
It’s what makes meeting a girl at a party who loves Peter Frampton more than just another girl, but, quite possibly, your soulmate.
Peter Rentfrow and Samuel Gosling, of the University of Cambridge and University of Texas, conducted a study to find out just how important music is in our relationships. Studying the patterns of conversation, the researchers found that individuals use their music preferences to communicate information about their personalities.
According to past research, Rentfrow and Golding found, “individuals consider their preferences for music more revealing of their personalities than their preferences for books, clothing, food, movies, and television shows.”
In the their research article “Message in a Ballad,” Rentfrow and Golding investigate topics that naturally arise among young adults. Using 60 college participants, the researchers paired the students up for six weeks and asked them to get to know one another.
After six weeks, they found music was the most commonly discussed topic. And as the six-week period progressed, talk of other topics, such as movies, books and sports decreased while music remained relevant.
In Rentfrow and Gosling’s study, they found that music conveys “consistent and accurate messages about their personalities.” They also found that attributes of a person’s music taste influence outward perceptions of that person.
Thus, if you’re a Pink Floyd fan and you met a Led Zeppelin fan, you’d most likely hit it off. However a Grateful Dead fan isn’t going to be hitting it off with a Katy Perry fan anytime soon.
So if you go to a party and meet someone who happens to love your favorite band, don’t pass by them so quickly. This could be the start of a beautiful relationship.
It says more about your personality than anything else
According to a study by Heriot-Watt University, music genre correlates with our personalities. Just because you don’t like the exact same bands, if the bands are similar in genre (aka classic rock, pop or jazz) there is a connection. People who like classic rock have a much different temperament and personality than those attracted to bubblegum pop.
In an instant, music tells us about another person more than anything else will. Before spending days or weeks with someone, you already know those important personality traits that either attract or repel you because it's not just what artists you like, it's what those artists say about you.
This chart created by the researches at Heriot-Watt tries to demonstrate how music genre correlates with personality traits:
It's something you'll always share
Music is the one constant in our lives. Like food and water, we take it in consistently throughout the day, every day. It's with us on the subway, in the car, running, walking and sitting. As long as we can breathe, we can listen to music.
Thus, we've become highly selective about the music we align ourselves with. We download only the songs we know we'll be able to listen repeatedly throughout our days.
Because of this massive selectiveness, it makes sense that music is its own form of communication. According to Rentfrow and Gosling, nine out of 10 online dating sites asked users about their music preferences, indicating that people think music conveys the most about them and will tell the other person everything they need to know about.
Like its own language, or a secret club, when two members find each other, it's like meeting for the second time. Couples who share music will always share this connection.
When everything is going wrong, when jobs and time start pulling them apart, they will always have their music. When their lives are overrun by kids and the stress of life itself, it will forever remain a reminder of that beating pulse they both share.
You’re gonna be listening to music the rest of your life
Like choosing a partner because you are part of the same religion, choosing "the one" based on music taste can be just as important. Music, like religion, is something that will stay with you the rest of your life and will only grow stronger as you get older.
Because music is also an indicator of your personality and your core values, if you choose a partner with whom you share none of these, your relationship is likely to be strained and complicated.
Like refusing to convert for your partner's religion, it can be something that overtakes the relationship and makes it impossible to carry on.
Rather than time spend together listening to your favorite music, you will spend that time apart, or resenting the other for his or her "poor music taste."
Road trips will be spent switching between stations, parties will never be as fun for one person and you will never get to experience the euphoria of enjoying a great song together.
If you go into the relationship with the same love for the same music, however, you will always have one thing that never grows old.
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