Looking back on my upbringing, I really shouldn’t have ended up in radio or the music business. Sorry Mom and Dad, but your taste in music sucks.
Mom tells a story about how Dad kept 18-month-old me away from the TV when the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. “Don’t expose him to that crap!” Their idea of a rockin’ good time was going to see Up with People–again. Mom’s favourite artist of all time was Englebert Humperdinck. Dad liked singing Hank Snow songs on the guitar (Hank Williams was too extreme). The best audio gear in the house was a massive Viking console stereo in the living room that Dad bought for a hundred bucks one Saturday. Their most-played album was The Merrymen Play “Beautiful Barbados.”
Yet despite this stunningly uncool musical culture, my sister and I somehow grew up deeply involved in music, even though our first musical instruments were the accordion (me) and the Yamaha Electone Organ (her). This apparently makes us anthropologically unusual. Wired reports that most people who were raised in such an environment aren’t so lucky.
Have you ever wondered why you enjoy pop while your friends like rock, or why people you work with are obsessed with heavy metal and you can’t stand it? A new study has found it may be a result of your upbringing.
The culture you grow up in was found to be far more influential than biological factors, according to the research from MIT. This also means different cultures actually hear the world differently.
“Our results show there is a profound cultural difference in the way people respond to consonant and dissonant sounds,” said Josh McDermott, lead author of the paper. Consonant chords typically consist of notes that harmonise, or sound good together. By contrast, dissonant chords typically jar and are less pleasing to hear.