Thoughts on the news this week

“So, what music do you like?” is a question commonly heard around campus, as new students get to know each other.  Having already run through major, home town, and residence hall, students turn to musical taste in their questioning, as it is a unifying experience.  But musical preferences could be a point of commonality because students have been raised to have similar preferences, according to research study in the journal “Nature” and analytical accompanying article by Brandeis contributor Lawrence Goodman.  Students may find musical taste draws them together because of their common exposure to Western music, which conditions them to prefer certain sound patterns.  So next time you’re amazed that the student in the neighboring room also loves pop music, take into account that this could be because of cultural conditioning to prefer consonance to dissonance, not because you’re musical soulmates.

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