Medical Mysteries of Music

Ongoing History Daily: Some people just don’t like music. An introduction to musical anhedonia.

As inconceivable as it might be, there are some people who just don’t like music. How is that even possible?

Scientists are very interested in this because a lack of appreciation for music can shed light on various types of brain function. The inability to like music—broadly described as a condition known as “musical anhedonia”—may be linked to neurological function, genetic differences, and emotional connections.

The result is an inability to get any sort of pleasure from music. The reason seems to be related to how the grey matter of the brain not having the same structure as white matter which alters the communication between them. Music isn’t interpreted as neural stimuli, so it’s not about hating music. It’s just that musical anhedonists feel kinda…blah when it comes to music.

Something to watch for, too: Musical anhedonia may appear and then increase with age. You’ve been warned.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37974 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Ongoing History Daily: Some people just don’t like music. An introduction to musical anhedonia.

  • As inconceivable as it might be, there are some people who just don’t like music. How is that even possible?

    _________________________

    Its probably more common than you think, those of use wired this way have just learned not to say anything. People get weird when we do. Like you did.
    I have been asked, in all seriousness, if I have a soul, how I haven’t just killed myself yet, and if I can love *anything*. When those are the responses we get… we stop mentioning that we aren’t super into music.

    Reply

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