Connection Between Music and Personality

Connection Between Music and Personality

Al saad 0

ConnectionBetween Music and Personality

AbdulazizAl saad



Today,music can be literally found and listened everywhere. In any givenday, one is likely to see hundreds of people listening to music ontheir portable devices such as mobile phones, iPods, MP3/4 playerswhile going about their daily lives. This is driven by increasedaccessibility of music courtesy of better technology. So much is theobsession of human kind with music that ordinary occurrences arebeing perceived from a musical perspective. People talk of birdssinging happily and even the wind whistling when it blows. What isnot clear is whether a person’s character influences the music theylisten to or it is the way other round. For this reason, I seek toanswer the question does music create the person or does the personchoose the music? There are different views and approaches to thisquestion.


Tostart with, Dovey seeks to answer this question by saying that “musicis not just a reflection of our musical preference, but also insightinto the very essence of who we are” (Dovey 2015). This creates theimpression that it is one’s character that determines one choice ofmusic and not the other way round. For me, a person’s character isshaped more than just the culture and the music that he grows in.Scientists have revealed that such character traits are inborn anddetermined by genetics. Some of these traits may correspond to acertain genre or taste in music.

Thisis to mean that people who share a similar taste in music are likelyto have more similarities in terms of character. However, van den Toland Edwards (2015) indicate that a shared taste in music mighthighlight a similar mood that needs to be expressed as opposed toshared character among a group of people. For instance they note thatpeople are likely to listen to sad music after experiencing anegative whereas they are more likely to change the taste of musicand listen to uplifting music after a period of time has passed inorder to get out of the negative mood. This means that feelings arethe ones that determine the choice of music.

Correspondingly,it can be argued that music character informs choice of music asopposed to music developing or shaping one’s character. I believe Iam product of my environment in regard to where I was brought up, thepeople I have interacted with all along and my community. However, Ido not believe that the music that the music I listen to shapes mewho I am. On the contrary, I believe I believe that my character andmood influence the choice of music I listen to. Rentfrow supportsthis point view by saying that “music can have considerable effectson cognition, emotion and behavior” (402). This implies that howone perceives the world and others and even act can have behavior onemotions. However, this means that there are other underlying effectsthat influence choice of music and thereafter the music affects theindividual. It is interesting to note that individuals listen to sadmusic when they want to feel sad and switch from such music when wantto change their mood. In essence, it would be hard for music tocreate sadness if the individual is not sad or happy if theindividual is not happy or has no desire to be happy. In contrast,music is largely used to reinforce an existing mood.


Allin all, music plays a critical role in life. I believe that it helpsindividuals in reinforce their character, emotions and behavior asopposed to out-rightly influencing them. In short, the choice ofmusic played or listened to is a way of expressing how one feels deepinside. Therefore, based on the above discussions, I can candidly saythat a person chooses the music and that music does create a person.


AnnemiekeVan den Tol and Jane Edwards. Listening to sad music in adversesituations: How

musicselection strategies relate to self-regulatory goals, listeningeffects, and mood enhancement. Psychologyof Music43.4 (2015): 473– 494. Web. Sage Publications.

Dovey,Dana. WhoDo You Think You Are? What Your Taste In Music Says About You,

AccordingTo Science.Jan 12, 2015. 23 Sept 2015. Web.

Rentfrow,Peter. The role of music in everyday life: current directions in thesocial psychology of

music.Socialand personality psychology compass6.5 (2012): 402-416. Web. Wiley Online.