Music taste 'linked to drug use'

By Abrad · Sep 14, 2006 · ·
  1. Abrad
    More than a quarter of classical music fans have tried cannabis, says a study from the University of Leicester.

    Researchers were trying to find out what people's taste in music revealed about their lifestyles.

    They discovered that fans of every style of music had taken drugs, with those who preferred DJ-based club music topping the list.

    The study also revealed that blues buffs are the most likely to have received a driving penalty.

    Mild-mannered fans

    More than 2,500 people were interviewed for the study, which is published in the scientific journal Psychology of Music.

    They answered questions on their living arrangements, political beliefs, education, work and pastimes.

    Fans of musicals come out as the most mild-mannered group, with the lowest level of drug-taking and criminal acts.

    They also drink less regularly than other music fans, and are among the most likely to do charity work.

    But followers of hip hop and dance music are more likely to have had multiple sex partners over the last five years and were among the biggest drug-takers surveyed.

    "It comes out in the study that, in these types of music, fans score worse in various behaviours, such as criminality, sexual promiscuity and drug use," said Dr Adrian North, who led the research.

    "It was shown that this had nothing to do with their ethnic backgrounds," he added. "The behaviour was linked purely to musical taste in its own right."

    The study did reveal links between education and musical preferences.

    People with a PhD or Masters degree are more likely to enjoy opera, jazz, blues or classical music.

    Musical taste also proved indicative of financial status, with fans of adult pop and classical music the most well-off.

    They are even more likely to pay off their credit card bills each month than the less solvent fans of hip-hop, rap, dance and club music.

    The report's authors acknowledge that some of these findings are related to age and social class.

    To paint a more accurate picture of how musical tastes correlate with people's lifestyles, they are now seeking to expand their survey on a global scale.

    They hope to recruit 10,000 interviewees on their website for further research, which is being funded by the British Academy.

    "We want to paint the first worldwide picture of who likes what," said Dr North.

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  1. KomodoMK
    Interesting article. Personally, I feel that a lot of it has to do with the music fitting with the drugs effects. For example if someone was on speed or MDMA, the chances are they are going to want faster music which is more upbeat to work alongside the buzz, where as if someone had taken cannabis and are mellowing out they are more likely to listen to slower music.

    Also, a lot of peoples music tastes change with age, my old man went from listening to EDM to listening to both EDM and Classical, he listens to classical when relaxing. Drugs like MDMA are not taken as often by the older generations, where as Cannabis is still fairly popular amongst all age groups.
  2. WrtngCocaineTutorial
    hmm might be a connection
    SWIM likes fast punkrock and likes best uppers,
  3. Bajeda
    Hmmm, there could indeed be a connection. Swim loves every type of music, completely eclectic, and his drug tastes reflect this pretty well. Swim likes and does pretty much everything.

    I think studies like this are pretty useless though. You can't draw useful conclusions or correlations from something comparing two fairly unrelated things. Music and drugs do go together often, but its the cultural setting in which they are consumed that counts. Listening to techno doesn't make you more likely to take MDMA. If you listen to techno and live in Britain or the Netherlands, especially in the late 80s to early 90s, you are more likely to have done it. If you listen to techno and live in Saudi Arabia it doesnt make too much of a difference. Moving around the world alot I've seen quite a range of disparities between what we would normally assume and what actually happens when it comes to cases like this.

    In any case, interesting data, but sort of reminds me of phrenology a bit. Not quite pseudoscience, but has about the same level of applicability.
  4. Nature Boy
    Those results are hardly surprising really. Hip-hop is the most popular music genre in Britain right now amongst young people and young people are the ones most likely to use drugs. It's obvious and not exactly a ground-breaking conclusion. I found the information about the fans of musicals quite amusing. They're all a bunch of Flanderses's. :D
  5. Riconoen {UGC}
    no surprise to SWIM, when he's stoned or sedated he lovesd to listen to mellow sublime, 311 and other slow paced bands. and when swim was on the tussin he loved techno beats. and when swim was on speed or just had one energy drink too many he'd bust out some AC/DC and just rock out. so swim has a very eclectic taste in music no doubt becuase of his drug use. Theres a reason striaght edge music sucks ass and its becuase it wasnt inspired or written by nor targeted toward drug users.
  6. Forthesevenlakes
    this article does not sit well with me. the correlations are somewhat not surprising, but the article does not take the time to mention that correlation does not imply causation. with statements like "The behaviour was linked purely to musical taste in its own right," the researchers or the writer of this article failed to really drive it into the readers head that age, social class, current trends in music, and other demographic factors can mediate both the type of music listened to and drugs taken. the music and drugs "linkage" they discovered here would only be by virtue of the presence of this third factor, which was not really discussed enough in the article for my liking. the author here chose to go for shock over science.
  7. izzy31
    This is intersting but I think it varies from person to person. SWIM thinks alot of these black/mexican gangster kids wouldn't be so involved in drugs and violence if they didn't listen to legends (songs) about it all day long. WIM thinks music is only responsible for some of the many factors that make a person do drugs.
  8. darawk
    It's also hard to separate the fact that many drugs and/or drug-induced experiences can change your perception of music. My friend SWIM never really liked electronic music until he went to a rave on E. Now he loves it and listens to it frequently even when he's not rolling.
  9. Gentos
    article is good.
    absolutely - there is some kind of connection between musical taste and your status in life...

    don't forget about exeptions ;)
  10. D.U.M.B
    There's a link for sure between the music SWIM listens to and what drug he might take. For example.

    If SWIM is listening to dance music early in the day it's most likely he will go out that night and then take some XTC, because listening to the tempo etc. will make him feel a buzz even before he takes some XTC and then of course the XTC enhances it.

    Same goes if SWIM listens to something like Kyuss or Bob Marley, all he will want to do is roll a big fat joint and sit down and relax.

    SWIM guesses the fact that he listens to mainly grunge music is why his drug intake is usually downers more so than uppers. SWIM wonders if he didn't listen to bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains etc, would he have tried opium, codeine, tramadol etc.

    But then again the sound of silence can sometimes just be as deafening
  11. BeetleJuice
    I dont think there is too much of a connection, agree with komodomk.
    what about people that dont do drugs?

    Swim liked the same mostly heavy (not too heavy) metal b4 and after drugs.
  12. Fran
    This also happened to my friend SWIY, he used to be into weed and heavy metal, but now hes into trance and raving on mephedrone...SWIY thinks that music is closely associated with drug useage because he says that it was used in all the great sub-cultures: 1960's + Weed/LSD, 1990's + E/Uppers, Hip-Hop + Weed/Cocaine, Industrial + Heroin, SWIY says that it enhances the creative mind to its full capacity
  13. b3ni
    You forgot Reggae, Fran :)
  14. Fran
    Of course Fran did!! Tsk...Fran just loves ALLLL of them :) "Jah live" :thumbsup:
  15. DrugCritics
    I think the average person's musical tastes has to do with the type of person they are/life they live. I think alot of the music we like is given to us - we dont choose it. Think about how much different foreign music is than american music. Do people who listen to asian music tend to be asian? or do asian people tend to listen to asian music?
  16. cra$h
    When swim's driving he either listens to techno, or classical/jazz. But it depends on what drug swim's on that influences his taste. But classical music he has found to be dynamic enough to be good for just about any drug. It all depends on the song and since there's a wide range of styles, it could fit literally any mood. Generally, the more dynamic the better. He loves bands from Tool to Notorious BIG, but absolutely hates punk rock due to its simplicity.
  17. xSarahJ
    This is really cool and sounds extremely accurate.
    Thank you! :D
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