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ELI5: Music preference. Why do we prefer certain sounds over others and how do they get that way?(r/explainlikeimfive)
Source: This is your brain on music
Music draws out memory, emotion, and engages our mind for predicting rhythm and patterns. These three things explain a few of our preferences.
Ex. I like complex electronica songs because they engage my mind, especially when they do a drop when I’m expecting a pattern to continue. However, I find I can ‘solve’ simple beats much too easily and get bored.
Also, combining sounds of different timbres can yield a unique one, such as guitars+drums->rock and roll, and this will yield preferences, similar to how a chef can combine different flavours to make a dish.
Finally, humans are also intrinsically sensitive to some scales and patterns. For example, we love 4/4 time and music translates across languages. There are a few TED talks about this.