Liking Music

For a DJ, selecting music for the dance, it is crucial to know what music the dancers will like.  During the dance, it’s easy to tell – if they don’t like the music, they will either sit it out, or they will get a partner and use the time to practice their figures and techniques.  If they do like the music, they will really connect with their partners; you’ll see partners in sync, and you’ll see partners connected.  How can you guess what they’ll like when you haven’t seen them dance to it?

A – We like the perfect balance between simplicity and complexity.  If it is too simple, we are bored, and if it is too complex, we find it too difficult, and our attention is drawn away from partners, etc.

B, C – Some other people like it simpler than we do, and some like it more complex.  On first exposure, we find it complex – B.  As we learn it, it feels OK – A.  With more exposure, it starts to feel boring – C.

X – Dividing line between liking and not liking, based on simplicity vs. complexity.

Y, Z – The sweet spot is wider for some – Z, and narrower for others – Y (we say they are picky).  My guess is that men are generally more picky about tango music (I know I am).

This graph applies to Tango, Music, Food, Cars, People, Clothes, etc. 

p. 235 This Is Your Brain On Music
 by: Daniel Levitin for more info.