Musical Preferences of Teenagers and Adults: Evidence from a Spanish-Speaking Sample


Soares-Quadros, J. F., de Sá, L. C. G., & Román-Torres, C. M. (2021). Musical Preferences of Teenagers and Adults: Evidence from a Spanish-Speaking Sample. Musicae Scientiae, Musicae Scientiae.


Music consumption is widely recognized as an important facet of everyday life, and the use of algorithms by online streaming services to suggest songs has aroused a growing scientific interest in how musical preferences are structured. However, existing studies have failed to include Latin genres of music. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop and validate a measure to assess the musical preferences of Spanish-speaking teenagers and adults. To do this, two independent studies were developed (N1 = 312 Spanish teenagers; N2 = 345 Spanish-speaking adults) using an instrument based on a theoretical structure consisting of 20 musical genres, which reflects the MUSIC model. The results indicated the exclusion of reggaetón for both groups, and confirmed the proposed theory of five dimensions of musical preferences: (a) Intense: emphasis on low sounds and use of electronic instruments; (b) Sophisticated: complex musical structure, dissonant harmonies, and melodies that explore unconventional patterns and diversified rhythms; (c) Contemporary: striking rhythm, emphasis on percussion and electronic instruments, versatility in the prosodic construction of lyrics, and often linked to themes such as inequality and social injustice; (d) Moving: strong connection to dance, especially partner dances, with strong potential for socialization; (e) Unpretentious: music with strong cultural roots specific to the research context. In conclusion, the Scale for Musical Preferences Assessment proved to be an effective instrument for assessing the musical preferences of teenagers and adults, presenting a standard structure for both groups, although there were differences in their perception of musical genres.

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