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Faculty Sponsor

Ethan McMahan

Abstract

Music preference is a multifaceted topic that addresses questions which continuously elude musicologists, music researchers and social psychologists. How does something so pervasive in our lives, such as music, remain a mystery to us? Music preference has been studied on many levels and the factors that influence the types of music we prefer are numerous, including genres, exposure, personality, and musical characteristics. However, our understanding of how and why music preferences are formed is still fragmented. We can narrow down music preferences into two broad categories: intrinsic and extrinsic qualities. In attempt to explore these characteristics, three commonly emerging theories concerning musical preference formation will serve as the foundation: repeated exposure, social learning, and inherent musical qualities. The current paper aims to draw on these theories in relation to the development and reasoning behind our musical preferences.

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