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What Do Metal and Classical Music Fans Have in Common?

While metal tends to be very loud and compressed, classical music has a more dynamic range. Aside from both being intrinsically melodic, there are actually various points where these two genres meet. 

According to studies, researchers found out that people who like metal music are quite similar to people who like classical music. Both share unique characteristics like being introverts.

How are Classic and Metal Music Fans the Same? 

In 2010, professor Adrian C. North of the Heriot-Watt University published his exploratory study hypothesizing that individual personalities are connected to preferences in musical styles. In the study, he conducted a survey using an online platform, with more than 36,000 participants concerning their degree of liking for 104 different musical types.

The data gathered for the study originated from Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand participants. The researchers also used newspapers and radio stations to gain participants, calling the research the largest-ever academic study of musical taste. The final sample set reached 36,518 participants with an average age of 28. The participants were then subdivided based on gender. There were 22,163 males and 14,355 females.

The survey contained information on the participants’ financial demographics and perceived self-esteem using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. According to the results of the study, many non-Western musical styles were unknown to the participants, so the researchers decided to remove them from the results. (Source: Curtin University)

What Did They Learn from the Study?

North and his team discovered that people define themselves through music and relate to other people through it. The researchers were also able to sense that people selected their preferred musical style to match their own personalities. Most of the time, their preference in music is outwardly shown by their style, like choosing clothes, places to visit, and even the type of slang they use.

The study identified which types of personalities tend to gravitate towards specific musical styles. North noted in the studies that:

  • People who prefer Blues, Soul, and Jazz have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease.
  • People who prefer Rap have high self-esteem and are outgoing.
  • People who like Country and Western music are hardworking and outgoing.
  • Reggae fans have high self-esteem and are creative but are not hardworking.
  • People who like Dance music are creative and outgoing but are generally not gentle.
  • Indie fans have low self-esteem, are not hardworking nor soft, but are creative people.

North discovered that people who prefer Classical music have similar attributes to those who listen to rock or metal. These people are often outgoing and at ease with themselves. The study showed that one prime difference between these two preferences was their age. Younger people tend to choose rock music while their older counterparts prefer classical. Both have the same motivation for their choice of music: to hear something theatrical, sharing the love for the grandiose.

The study contradicts the stereotypical notion the public has towards metal fans. They are often thought of as violent, depressed, and a menace to society and themselves. Yet, this research proved that they have the same basic personality as people who prefer classical music. North even claimed that people who like rock would most probably be interested in classical music. (Source: Psych Central)

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