We all have music that we love, and it seems like the older we get, the less likely we are to love what’s current. That’s because we tend to listen to less music by the time we hit our late 20s, but researchers think they’ve found the real real reason and time when our musical taste is formed.
Researchers have found that your musical taste comes primarily from your memories of songs, regardless of the era the song is from. That said, the memories that you form as a young adult (the prime music listening period) remain more detailed than latter in life.
In the 90s a group of researchers wanted to test this hypothesis so they collected a popular song from each era of music from 1935 to 1994. They then rounded up some senior citizens and college students, played them 20 seconds of each song, and asked them if they’d heard it before, had memories related to it, and if they liked it. The older group liked the songs from their youth, which was expected, but while the younger group liked the songs from their teenage years best, they also liked the songs from the 1960s. The researchers therefore concluded that the 1960s were the “golden age” of music.
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