There’s a reason why your grandparents still listen to Dean Martin. A reason why your mom still loves Bon Jovi. And a reason why you still have a strange affiliation with those punk bands you liked when you were 14.
A recent survey by the music streaming service Deezer asked 1,000 people in the UK about their musical preferences and streaming habits. According to their findings, people tend to experience a “musical paralysis” at around the age of 30. This is the time where they stop listening to new artists or genres and tend to stick to what they know.
Musical discovery peaks at an average age of 24 years and five months. Although women generally hit this peak around a year earlier. At this age, almost 75 percent of respondents said they checked out 10 or more new tracks per week while 64 percent said they listened to five or more new artists every month. Around 60 percent of people feel like they are in a music rut and struggle to break out of playing the same old artists over and over again.
“With so much brilliant music out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed,” said Adam Read, the UK & Ireland music editor at Deezer. “This often results in us getting stuck in ‘musical paralysis’ by the time we hit our thirties.”
Some of the reasons include being overwhelmed by the amount of choice available (19%), having a demanding job (16%), and caring for young children (11%). Nearly half of the people surveyed said they wish they had more time to dedicate to discovering new music. So at least for that 47%, it isn’t due to a lack of interest.
Even more interesting is the science behind these findings.
Research has shown how our favourite songs stimulate our pleasure responses in the brain, releasing dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and other happy chemicals. The more we like a song, the more of these chemicals flow through our body. This happens for everyone, but during our adolescent years, our brains are going through a lot of changes. We’re also incredibly hormonal and sensitive. If we hear a song we really love, it’s more likely to stay with us forever.
That isn’t to say that you won’t hear a new song you love later in life! It just might not elicit the same strong response because you aren’t such a soft little sponge anymore.
However, all this means is that you can indulge in that throwback Thursday playlist full of Panic! At The Disco, Blink-182, and old school Tiesto without shame, because it makes your brain happy.[H/T: Business Insider]