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New Music Sucks, Says Study

Researchers at Washington University found that people prefer to listen to the songs they already know and love, even though they say they would prefer to listen to unfamiliar music. The study examined the actual choices music listeners made and compared them to what their stated preferences were. So sayeth said researchers:
[People] have a need for both novel and familiar music, and they especially prefer familiar music when they are busy working or doing cognitively demanding tasks...Furthermore, familiarity predicted choice above and beyond liking.
But to be fair, we must keep in mind this is just one study, and no single study should be the research that ends all future exploration of a theory. Especially when you consider that the study's participants "did not have to actually listen to their chosen song". So whether you're listening, playing, or composing music, you may not want to give up on novel new music just yet, but you shouldn't underestimate the power of familiarity either.







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