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How Culture, Gender, and Age Affect Music Preference (notes)

notes for the project
by

Nathan Helenihi

on 15 March 2011

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Transcript of How Culture, Gender, and Age Affect Music Preference (notes)

What elements do you listen for? Where did you adopt your preference from? Research Question(s) Vocals, instruments, effects, beat, bass line, tone, ambience...etc (CHANGE) How does culture, gender, and age affect musical preference? Do you actively listen? Research Question(s) How does culture, gender, and age affect musical preference? What elements do you listen for? Where did you adopt your preference from? Vocals, instruments, effects, beat, bass line, tone, ambience...etc (CHANGE) Do you actively listen? Why do you listen? By Nathan Helenihi on Musical Preference Culture and Gender The Effects of Demographic Characteristic Definitions Ethnicity
Differences between non-Hispanic and Hispanic preferences are less prevalent than between non-White and White adults.
Hispanics have a higher preference rate for latin/spanish/salsa music than any other genre. Race
Whites are more likely to prefer most genres compared to non-Whites except ethnic/traditional, blues/R&B, hymns/gospel, jazz, rap/hip-hop, and raggae.
Whites are over four times as likely to enjoy country/western music than non-Whites.
Whites and non-Whites share equal preference for choral, dance/electronica, latin, easy listening, opera, and parade music. Conclusions? Age
Generational association is connected to music preference.
Silent Generation (1925 - 1945) was more likely to enjoy big band, choral/glee club, classical, hymns/gospel, easly listening, musicals, opera, and parade music more than Boomers (1946-1964).
Generation X, or Baby Busters (1960 - 1982), were more likely to enjoy dance music, rap/hip hop, and rock/heavy metal than the Baby Boomers.
Generation Y, or Millenials (1982 - early 2000's), show similar preferences to the Baby Busters, however, they show a significant increase in prefering rap/hip hop. 1. Gender: divided into men and women.

2. Race: divided into those who identify themselves as "white" and those who identify themselves as "non-white". "Non-white" includes those who consider their race as Black, American Indian, Aleut, Eskimo, Asian, or Pacific Islander.

3. Ethnicity: refers to whether or not an individual is Hispanic. Those Identifying oneselves as Hispanic may be of any race. SPPA data demonstrates strong associations between demographic characteristics and music preferences. Gender
Men are more likely to report a preference for bluegrass, blues/R&B, rock/heavy metal, and jazz.
Women are more likely to prefer dance/electronica, hymns/gospel, easy listening, and musicals/operetta. What Did (Mizell,2005) (Mizell,2005) Data Beginning in 1982 and ending in 2002, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) sponsored the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) to gather information on U.S. citizens' participation in a variety of the arts. It was initially intended to supplement the National Crime Survey (NCS) but was also eventually used in the Current Population Survey (CPS). The data was collected from random household members aged 18 and older. Among the questions given, participants were asked about their previous year's attendance and preferences of both art and music. (Mizell,2005) The Recent research suggests that personality traits may play an important role in music preferences. SPPA Data and Research by Rentfrow and Gosling (2003) suggest that personality traits play imporant role in music preferences. 1. Individuals who are “reflective and complex” tend to like blues, jazz, classical, and folk music.

2. Individuals who are “intense and rebellious” tend to prefer rock, alternative, and heavy metal music.

3. Those who are “upbeat and conventional” enjoy country, soundtracks, religious, and pop music.

4. Adults who are “energetic and rhythmic” tend to prefer rap/hip-hop, soul/funk, and dance/electronica. How do culture, gender, and age affect musical preference? Vocals, instruments, effects, beat, bass line, tone, ambience... Where did they adopt their preference from? What elements do they listen for? Do people actively listen? Research Question(s) Why do they listen? * (Mizell,2005) Most of the music genres studied experienced considerable declines in popularity

12/19 genres showed significant declines

3/19 genres showed a preferantial increase
rap/hip hop
classic rock/oldies
blues/R&B

4/19 genres remained steady
classical/chamber
jazz
latin/spanish/salsa
opera They Find? Musical Preference Survey 1. Please specify your ethnicity
2. Please specify your gender
3. Please specify your age range
4. From where did you develop your musical
preference?
5. Select the music genres you prefer
6. Select the top 3 elements you consider
most important in a great song
7. On average, how many hours a day do you
listen to music?
8. Why do you listen to music? Original Data Why? Presentation References Green, L. (1997). Music, Gender, Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kennedy, G. D. (2011, February 25). Female music industry insiders talk gender, race, sexuality in pop music. Retrieved March 2, 2011, from Los Angeles Times Music Blog:http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2011/02/female-music-industry-insiders-talk-being-in-the-boys-club.html

Leonard, M. (2007). Gender in the music industry: rock, discourse and girl power. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Mills, F. (2001, December). Rap and Young, White Males: Masculinity, Masking and Denial. Retrieved March 3, 2011, from AmericanPopularCulture.com: http://www.americanpopularculture.com/archive/music/rap_white_men.htm

Mizell, L. (2005). Music Preferences in the U.S.: 1982-2002. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts.

Olive, S. (2010, July 3). Audio Musings. Retrieved March 1, 2011, from Are There Cross-Cultural Preferences in The Quality of Reproduced Sound?: http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2010/07/are-there-cross-cultural-preferences-in.html

Rothenberg, P. S. (2010). Race, Class, and Gender in the United States. New York: Worth Publishers. (Mizell,2005) (Mizell,2005) (Mizell,2005) Ethnic Studies 112 Section 3 Winter 2011 Gender Culture Music business is largely male run
Popular musicians, writers, creators, technicians, engineers and producers mostly men
Create problems of access/opportunity for women in the music business (Often deal with sexism)
Important to uncover how gendering of popular music is articulated, reproduced and maintained
From this, we can highlight the implications of this tradition for female music enthusiasts and performers A Man's World Gender in Rock Rock has been described as the "most blatantly misogynistic and aggressive form of music currently listened to"
Rock is still deeply masculinist even with its rising number of female rock musicians
Events such as mosh pits found at concerts of rock sub-genres (Hardcore, Metal...) depict masculinity's stress for toughness, agressiveness, power, and violence which Thompson heavily beleives to be the tools that maintain a man's most critical socializing forces, those being homophobia and mysogyny (Rothenberg, 2010)
VH1's 100 Greatest Albums listens only 16 entries containing solo artists or bands with at least one female member
Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time includes only 11 solo artists or bands with at least one female member
Females are most often found as vocalists within rock music
Rock is expressive of male sexuality and how it exerts control
Masculinity of rock established by the ways in which male rock performers are discussed and portrayed in music journalism
The gender of rock may seem stable, but is "stabilised" through a constant process of reiteration and the performance of masculinity
The majority of music journalists tend to be male, and therefore, the deficit of female rock performers is further amplified by the scarcity of female rock journalists
Female artists are often grouped as "women in rock" in reviews or discussions
By grouping female artists together as a fad, journalists marginalize and reduce their historical importance Masculine culture surrounds rap music
Females are virtually "non-existent" as either critics or performers of rap music
Females are often, however, the subject of rap songs
This illustrates the gender stereotypes that men act and women are acted upon
Many people often report listening to rap exclusively with other young males as a group, possibly inferring that their decision to listen may be related to an awareness of their own masculinity
This may reflect that perhaps as these boys tried to become men during adolescence, they turned to rap music as means of asserting manhood by associating themselves with such a hyper-masculine musical culture, "one in which femininity had no place"
Kimmel describes this as Homosocial Enactment, meaning men are under the constant scrutiny of other men and that manhood is demonstrated for other men's approval
The other men being those who evaluate a man's performance and function which eventually lead to constructs male authority Gender in Rap Women in the Industry Today, pop music's largest stars, especially female (Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry...) have all found ways to harness their sexuality to their benefit
Many times the artists in the spotlight are considered to be heroes, however, those females behind the scenes in the music industry, though equally as important, face many hurdles in a historically male-dominated world
On Feb. 25th, the 10th Annual Experience Music Project Pop Conference at UCLA brought together a group of prominent music journalists, scholars, musicians and music industry professionals for a day-long conference at USC on Thursday to discuss the changing roles in today’s pop music.
The women on the panel described that gender and sexuality play an immense role in everyday work and that there indeed was an intense "battle of the sexes" within the industry
Amy Blackman, who manages the Latin/hip-hop/rock collective Ozomatli described that she had to overcome being the only female in her direct line of tasks In 1976, Robert Brannon described masculinity with four primary definitions: 1. No sissy stuff
2. Be a big wheel
3. Be a sturdy oak
4. Give 'em hell It is easy to see that many of today's music genres have inherited such qualities (Rock, Metal, Hardcore, Rap...)
Kimmel describes that such tendencies root from the male's flight from femininity, meaning the suppression of feminine traits to stray from signs of weakness or fragility ("Not a REAL man!")
He also moves to renounce Masculinity as Homophobia which is often seen by many artists in such genres including the infamous rap artist Eminem and rock group Limp Bizkit who attack gays
Lastly he describes that Freud argued people respond to attacks on their identity by exaggerating the threatened trait - men who are insecure about their masculinity are more likely to be authoritarian and aggressive Traditional Masculinity In one article, Dr. Kieth Clark explains people often see black society in America as an "outlaw" culture, however, the black culture manifested in rap and similar genres is becoming more popular among white youth, especially white males. He reports that one young male said, "It's kind of like an escape; it's like its different." This implies that the youth of American society, not necessarily only white males, may be drawn to many aspects of both rap culture and black culture in general.

However, Dr. Clark further explains that these young people often find themselves to outgrow the fascination of such cultural escapes and often move to fulfil the social constructs of the successful white male driven by society. He lastly states that white males most often begin listening to rap near ages enterting adolescence, where as African American and mixed-race people report listening to rap all their lives. Cross-Cultural Music Preference in America Why Differences May Exist Language and Dialect
Certain scales and sounds may complement and enhance the quality of a note and its ability to be comprehended among different languages and dialects
A culture's ethnic music and particular use of instruments may be enhanced or reduced based upon many elements of music reproduction

Regional Environment and Room Acoustics
Different types of speakers may be used based upon the design an construction of a culture's general housing due to its affect on noise isolation and acoustic properties
Rigid plaster walls commonly found in older Europe may provide a high amount of noise isolation but less bass absorbtion than those found in typical American construction

Cultural Social Norms and Practices
Cultural practices and social norms may influence many aspects of musical preference, including tempo and how loud a particular culture listens to music
Japanese apartment owners may listen to music at a lower volume to avoid disturbing neighbors, which may be a larger infraction than doing so in America Does Culture Affect
Musical Preference? Some common cross-cultural assertions repeated among audio reviewers and marketing executives include:

Americans prefer more bass than Europeans and Japanese
Japanese prefer less bass and more midrange (and listen at lower volumes)
Germans prefer brighter sound
The British prefer “tighter” or more over-damped bass


Very little cross-cultural research has been conducted in the perception of musical preference and sound quality to date. One of the main challenges of cross-cultural research is ensuring that the study's instructions, sound quality, and musical semantics of scales have the same meaning across different cultures. But are these assertions accurate or valid? Music has always been an important part of my life,
and as my musical preference has developed with age
I often wonder "Why do people listen to the music they do?" (Olive, 2010) (Olive, 2010) (Olive, 2010) (Leonard, 2007) (Rothenberg, 2010) (Leonard, 2007) (Leonard, 2007) (Harding and Nett, 1984) (Mills, 2001) (Rothenberg, 2010) She explained that when the crew traveled she had to share spaces such as cramped tour buses, recording studios, and dressing rooms with all males
She then moved to explain how in the beginning she felt she had to compensate for being female by acting unreasonably agressive, thinking femininity would not be accepted in such a setting
Nicole Vandenberg (head of Vandenberg Communications) recalls her first touring experience with a male artist and shared that music is often fueled by sexuality and women are typically forced, or expected, to present themselves in a certain way by either choosing to play their sexuality up or down in such a male environment
Lauren Onkey (from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum) said while there have been strides reached such as Esperanza Spalding's Grammy win, women still have a very long way to go to gain equal footing in the music business
Lastly, she described that women must not bend to the pressure of male dominance within the industry, rather spread the power and strength of femininity as an equal entity Women in the Industry (2) Thompson describes that masculinity is determined by both biological and environmental factors
He moves to explain the undeniable significance of cultural and environmental factors in teaching boys about being men in modern society
Many of his ideas are very apparent in today's changing society, some of which include men must learn to accept their vulnerability, learn to express emotion, learn to be gentle and caring, and learn to accept attitudes and behaviors that have been traditionaly labeled as feminine
Kimmel supports this idea by exaplaining that manhood is not static nor timeless, rather, historically constructed


Today masculinity may be characterized more by a gradient between its traditional extremeties and femininity itself
As a result, shifts in gender preferences within music is both expected and observable Contemporary Masculinity (Kennedy, 2011) (Keneddy, 2011) (Rothenberg, 2010) Analysis Although interesting, unfortunately the data collected did not have the significant variety in gender nor ethnicity necessary to form accurate conclusions about contemporary musical preference in the U.S. related to these two elements of society.

However, I think it is safe to validate that the change in musical preference among people between 16 and 25 has generally shifted since that seen in studies conducted before 2000. My data shows an preferential increase for the following genres AND their sub-genres:

Rock (Alternative, Hardcore, Metal...)
Rap/Hip Hop
Electronic (House, Dubstep, Trance...)

Thanks to those that participated in the study! (Green, 1997) Men hold the power within the music industry
In Miller's "Domination and Subordination" she describes that subordinates are often thought to be unable to perform preferred roles and as a result, it becomes further difficult for the dominant group to imagine the capabilities of the subordinate group
It is not surprising to then find that such a subordinate group resorts to disguised and indirect ways of acting and reacting (Rothenberg, 2010)
In Green's "Music,Gender,Education", she discusses a social structure containing multiple relationships of power (economic, physical, and discursive) and that the overall balance of power is indeed held by men
She then moves to articulate the difference of the public and private spheres. The public sphere involves the world of paid work and the private, the domestic or unpaid work. More often than not, men circulate in the public sphere much more than women and vice versa. However, when women do enter the public sphere it tends to be in regions that retain many characteristics similar to the private sphere.
What Green explains is precisely what occurs within the music industry Power
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