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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Are There People Who Take No Pleasure From Music?

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Most of us love music and the way it makes us feel. Regardless of what's going on in your life, a song can take your mind off it and take you to another place, at least for a minute. That's for most of us, not all of us.

Psychologists at the University of Barcelona discovered a group of people who lack the ability to receive any pleasure from music, even though they receive pleasure from other joys of life like food and sex. While studying responses to music to gauge emotion, they found that about 5% of all people just couldn't feel anything at all when listening to music.

When asked to bring in music that they liked, the 5% were at a total loss. They didn't have any music; no CDs, no Pandora, no downloads, no Spotify. It just wasn't a part of their lives. When asked to listen to a wide variety of music that elicited strong emotional responses from the rest of the test group, this non-emotive group who suffered from musical anhedonia had zero response that could be measured via heart-rate monitors or skin conductance. They just didn't care either way.

Don't confuse this with people who have a disorder called amusia, where people can't identify musical tones. The researchers found that these people could have their emotions peaked via music.

Lest you think these musical anhedonics might have an underlying psychological problem that was being masked, they all appeared to be healthy and happy in every other way. They just couldn't hear and react to music.

So if you're wondering why your not selling more music or getting more people to your shows, remember that there's at least 5% of the population that will never get it, and it's not your fault. Feel better now?

If you'd like to see if you're one of those that has no response to music (and if you're reading this blog I bet you a vintage U47 that you're not), take the test here.
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2 comments:

Nichole said...

Are There People Who Take No Pleasure From Music? This is a great question. I wonder what types of music the 5% heard?

However, this is what I believe:

I believe those challenges unfortunately exist due to both the music and the listener.

As for the music, I ask in what spirit was it recorded? Is the studio recording Recorded and Mastered in such a way that all life is sucked out of it or can I hear rich tones as if each instrument(even subtle tones from lead and Nonlead instruments) was an individual person communicating to me in a gathering? In simple terms, most music, not all, but most music regardless of genre or speed, has a loss of intimacy.

As for the listener, I believe their interest in music has waned because:

1. Their Initial Home Environment.

2. Consumption of Toxic-Laden Food.

3. Consumption of Fluoradated Water(In The US Anyway) and Fluoride products that calcifies parts of the brain.

4. Tons of Chemicals Everywhere In The Air Unlike Previous Generations.

5. Their Acceptance & Belief in Mass Market Manipulation Of What Music Is Truly About: Example- In other words, why bother experiencing true joy from a song on the radio, a stream, a download or buying a cd of a local indie artist at coffee/juice bar if their call to action is based on how fast an artist gets their clothing line in every store and that's all that matters. Or what celebrity artist said what to whom on some social media site... who cares...

Rand said...

I for one don't take much pleasure at all towards most current attempts at radio-tailored music.

Just like Hollywood lost the plot years ago and took the easy, no-risk-lazy-man's-guide-to-creativity-focus-only-on-the-bottom-line way out with cloning comic books and let the CGI boffins do all the work attitude; all we're being ear-fed these days is the same generic background music with different auto-tuned girls and boys Pro Tooled on top.

Thank the Godz there's still some DJ's and radio programs around playing all the classic tracks from when music really had substance and meaning. I was just born too late...

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