The effects of different genres of music on passersby

Aditya Rao, Sanjana Rao, Connie Nugent, Kenneth Nugent

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA

Cite: Rao A., Rao S., Nugent C., Nugent K. The effects of different genres of music on passersby. J. Digit. Art Humanit., 2(2), 51-60.

Abstract. Music preferences reflect both experience and societal or cultural influences. The characteristics of the music genre include both structural style and societal connotations. This study investigated reactions to different types of music. The behavior of passersby was observed as music from two stereotypically “opposite” genres, hip-hop and classical, was played by the researcher while jogging past them. It was hypothesized that due to societal stereotypes and reputations of these genres’ participants would react negatively toward hip-hop and favorably toward classical. As the study was conducted, participants were observed during six different outings over a three-week period. The researcher jogged at the same time of day and over the same route with either hip-hop or classical music playing. Passersby were observed on their facial expressions, any changes in behavior, and their body language to determine their overall reaction to the music, as being “positive”, “negative”, or “neutral.” The results indicate that older passersby responded negatively to hip-hop and positively to classical music. Younger age groups often had opposite reactions.  This study provides insight into different populations’ responses to opposite genres of music and how societal stereotypes may have affected these responses.

Keywords: music, genre, hip-hop, rap, classical, preference, digital music, community-based, outdoor venue.

Acknowledgments. This project had no financial support from either grant funding or the institution. Shengping Yang, PhD, Department of Biostatistics, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA, provided statistical support.  No other individuals participated in the project.


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Published online 29.12.2021