Who listens to jazz?

Test musica e personalità

The Musical Universe method that combines personality and musical tastes

Listening to one genre of music instead of another can say something more about our character, our way of behaving and in general about our behavior. This is the opinion of David Greenberg, researcher at the University of Cambridge and creator of the Musical Universe project.

Started in 2015, the project consists of collecting data from online users of all nations through a personality test. The test consists of 35 questions, 10 of which question the user’s character aspects, while the next 25 are proposals for musical pieces, which are asked to assign an approval rating. Once the various questions have been filled in, the platform identifies the user in one of the 5 musical macro categories defined by Greenberg; the initials of these 5 groups form the word MUSIC:

  • M: Mellow, melodic or pop music
  • U: Unpretetious, light, folk or country music
  • S: Sophisticated, classical and jazz music
  • I: Intense, rock, punk and heavy metal music
  • C: Contemporary, electronic music, rap or acid jazz

According to the Musical Universe researchers, each musical macro-category brings together people with similar characteristics. For example, fans of mellow music are generally calm, affectionate and nostalgic people. Fans of pop, folk and country are like their music unpretetious, meaning simple, open and talkative. Sophisticated people, lovers of jazz and classical music, are creative, sensitive and self-confident. Conversely, those who listen to rock music and other intense genres tend to be more insecure, shy and thoughtful. Extroverted, impulsive and curious are ultimately defined as the followers of contemporary music.

These categories are not closed to each other. In fact, musical tastes can change as well as many other aspects of our character. Research shows that a determining variable is age: it has been found that adolescents prefer intense genres, while in adulthood, when one has greater self-awareness, they like contemporary or mellow genres more. Growing up we tend to be even more self-confident and to have sophisticated tastes. Finally, in the “fourth age” the simplicity of unpretetious music is sought.

And you? What category are you in?


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