Recent studies show that the year of a person’s birth has an influence on the types of music that they enjoy listening to. In addition to this, the music that they listened to during their adolescent years had the greatest influence on what they prefer currently, with the music they listened to in their twenties coming in second as an influence. This is a scientific method in use to describe why people prefer a certain kind of music over the other. These are the things that help to create the musical memory lanes everyone walks.
Have you noticed that there are groups of peers who listen to the same music when they’re in school together, and then when they reunite years later these songs are referred to as “golden oldies?” Nearly without exception, somebody will say, “This song reminds me of…” then they’ll fill in the blanks with one or several different memories that hearing this song brings back.
How does this phenomenon happen?
There’s actually a scientific explanation for why this happens. It’s a hormonal response that happens when people listen to music. When a person is in their youth, certain events trigger a release of hormones including a first kiss, a first car and hearing a song that they really like. Music can remind a person of all of the significant things that take place during adolescence and into young adulthood. That is why there is a nostalgic connection to certain kinds of music. It is very much a part of the development process of the self and making connections.The music reminds us of important milestones in our lives.
A physical reaction
People react to songs in a psychological and physical way. All humans do this, but it’s more intense in young adults. Music sets the mood and it can also motivate us. There is something about the tones and the rhythm that gets our attention and makes an indelible mark in our memories. That’s why a song can trigger memories or feelings of euphoria. It’s all related to cognitive function and processes, but humans don’t stop to think about they whys, they just know what they like and that’s good enough for most.
Why we’re more influenced in our youth
There is a simple explanation for this. When people are younger, most have better hearing. It’s a natural part of the aging process to lose the ability to hear some of the more subtle or intricate tones. This is why music has a more profound effect on us when we’re younger and why this is the stage when it is most likely to make a lasting impression that stays with us for the rest of our lives. We’re influenced by the things that we’re exposed to and when we reach our older years and hear an old familiar song, it triggers memories and feelings that we previously associated with particular songs or music styles. The next time someone asks you why you like the kind of music you do, you’ll have an earful for them.