Sunday, June 6, 2010

Musical Preferences: Are we "prewired"?

From "Ask the Expert" on NOVA's Musical Minds special with Oliver Sacks, Neurologist and expert on Music and the brain at ("oliver sacks"):

Q: Do you think we are prewired for our music preferences? I find that folk and Celtic music speak to my soul. My son, who is a music major, is a jazz lover. We each hate each other's preferences. I don't understand why we are so different. My daughter, who is an autistic savant with vocal music, is totally eclectic in her musical tastes. She is able to memorize songs immediately.

A: I suspect that relatively little of our musical preference is prewired. It is more likely that they are formed by the music we are exposed to in our childhood and youth—but also colored by associations, experiences, and emotions which we link to a particular type of music.

Dr. Sacks goes on to say how important it is to continue to introduce our children to other sorts of music...

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