33 thoughts on “Are musical tastes cultural or hardwired in the brain?

  1. Can't help but feel like I've been click baited by the title after watching the whole thing haha. Still, interesting stuff 🙂

  2. maybe they just can't grasp their unpleasant feeling with the bad sounds, although they would given time to really feel into it or meditate on it

  3. Cultural. I didn't *like classical music until I found Vivaldi. *like defined by enjoying playing a repetitive track. I even enjoy the Italian composers more so than I do the German composers.

  4. What would have been more interesting is to see what American listeners dislike in these indigenous peoples' prefered harmonic sound groupings.

  5. i found the "unpleasant" sound still pretty harmonic, so am i from old tribe? this makes the whole effort worthless for me.

  6. There are lots of dubious aspects to this video. Even the title is badly worded: 'musical tastes'. differ even within a culture. That is self-evident-
    Firstly even in the Western music tradition what was considered consonant or not has changed over time.
    Also there isn't a simple dissonance / consonance opposition with one being considered 'good' and the other 'bad'.
    . 'Dissonance' isn't always equivalent to 'unmusical'. Dissonance is needed if your music isn't gong to be too bland. If you look at a Bach score you will see he puts all kinds of 'dissonant' intervals together frequently. . F# with G for example. It's these 'clashes' that bring interest and life to the music . Also, as I said, what we consider consonant or not changes. F# and G could be seen as part of a G major 7 chord, which these days to our ears sounds like a cool laid back jazzy chord, but in Bach's or Mozart's time would have stood out to listeners as a more glaring dissonant 'clash'. ( an interesting side issue of that fact is that maybe we can't now experience past music the way it was experienced by listeners when it was first written.).

    Again, if you want to test musical tastes then you can't just play people combinations of notes. There is a difference between 'sounds' and 'music'.
    And…what a boring conclusion. Anyone could have told you that without leaving the house. just by listening to the music of different cultures and doing a tiny bit of reading.
    Yes music is culturally conditioned (yawn). ( even though there is a physical base to music based on the harmonic series and most cultures seem to have figured out a few similar, shared things such as the pentatonic scale)
    MIT must have a lot of money to waste.

  7. no shit.. takes a team of mit scientists to realise that people who are exposed to music will differentiate melodies better.. good job mit

  8. They went to the deepest jungle to find people who can't sing in tune. They would've only had to visit my neighbour.

  9. Over time the music that creates mood in movies and the media has influenced our preferences. You’ll notice consonance in pleasant, happy, comforting scenes and dissonance in scary, weird, unhappy scenes.
    Have we been programmed to prefer consonance over dissonance?
    A musical piece can tell a story without lyrics using these chords.

  10. Man in this society they have not so much music and any new music is a song of angels for them :). Even russian music.

  11. Did you account for the timbre of the samples? Dissonant Vocals (even synthesized) will always sound better than, for example, flutes or trumpets. To put it simply, the consonance and dissonance must be defined by the sound character of the instruments combined with the interval of the notes.

  12. I actually prefer music that incorporates dissonant chordings, as well as odd meters, polyrhythyms, etc. because I find the majority of western popular music bland as hell, like a mayo and white bread sandwich. Give me Tool over Nickelback 10 times out of 10. Dissonance gives spice to music when used appropriately.

    For that matter, I find a lot of classical music to be boring as all hell. Great, another arpeggio in a major scale. Yawn. Oh boy here comes the G chord! Again! Zzzzzzz. NO! I want that good shit. Give me Stravinsky! THAT'S music that will pull you in! None of that frilly early 1700s harpsichord bullshit.

  13. Of course, we knew your findings before you did, because if you imply that races are different you will lose your funding and be called a racist! And we all know that being racist is worse than murder).

    But it's too late, we already know that there are different levels of neurotransmitter functions between races, 23 and me has already published it, oops! And everybody knows there is a strong link between music and neurotransmitters, because we experience the differences on a daily basis.

  14. Bach would have loved it. Think of a 6 voices fuge that changes tonality in each octave. This is a very interesting project telling us that the western musicality is not natural but very artificial and what goes for tonality very limited. But this fact a lot of Western composers have underlined for many years already. Next step could be to find out where this group of people's understanding of pitch comes from.
    For a western pop oriented audience sounding out of tune, for a composer as me sounding like a very advanced approach to tonality. But what formed this sense of tonality? Lack of classical western musical education? Or rather the sense of being near the nature? And if the last question should be answered with a yes, where in nature does those frequencies come from?

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