Characteristics of self-reported favorite musical experiences

Krause, Amanda, Maurer, Simone, and Davidson, Jane W. (2021) Characteristics of self-reported favorite musical experiences. Music & Science, 3. pp. 1-17.

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Research supports the folk wisdom that individual preferences are tied to our experiences: we like what we know and as a result, we know what we like. Yet our understanding of the elements contained in lived examples of musical experiences that facilitate enjoyment and investment in music is little described. The current study recruited Australian residents (N = 135) to complete an online survey, which asked them to describe their favorite musical experience with regard to its context and impact. The majority of favorite musical experiences involved listening to live music and performing. The descriptions provided indicated that these experiences resulted in layered emotional experiences, much more subtle than folk psychology would suggest. Further, thematic analysis results revealed that Gabrielsson’s Strong Experiences with Music Descriptive System adequately categorizes the elements of people’s favored experiences, with particular reference to general characteristics, bodily reactions, perceptual phenomena, cognitive aspects, emotional aspects, existential and transcendental aspects, and personal and social aspects. A wide variety of musical genres were involved, though pop, classical, rock, and hip-hop music featured predominately. By detailing key components which lead to favored musical experiences, the findings have implications regarding how musical engagement opportunities can be better designed to support continued musical investment, which has particular relevance for educational and community uses of music for fostering positive individual and community benefits.

Item ID: 64038
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2059-2043
Keywords: Autobiographical memory, favorite experiences, musical engagement, music participation, strong experiences related to music (SEM)
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2020. This Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP140102679
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2020 06:07
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 70%
36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3603 Music > 360301 Music cognition @ 30%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950101 Music @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 50%
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