Music is a fundamental part of life, and its expression can be found in every past or modern culture. We are exposed to music from the earliest age through different lullabies or nursery rhymes. And as we grow up, we slowly develop our preferences and taste in music.
Naturally, music varies across different cultures, and it relies on different social settings. This variation is evident across numerous genres of music that have developed over the years. But how does music influence people on an individual level?
The OCEAN model recognizes five components of personality: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. With that said, many studies reveal how some genres can influence certain aspects of our personality.
Ambient music, which is mainly instrumental, emphasizes the atmospheric rather than lyrical or rhythmic quality of music. Listening to ambient music can promote creativity and help us process abstract information more easily. Hence, it can benefit and enhance openness to experience.
On the other hand, listening to rock music, which is dynamic and emotionally charged, can improve emotional intelligence and facilitate personal motivation. Moreover, listening to hip-hop can have similar effects, therefore influencing one’s conscientiousness.
Music can also influence our feelings and behaviour. For example, listening to meditative or relaxing music can alleviate stress. Research has shown that people who listened to music after experiencing a stressful event recovered more quickly than those who did not.
Music can also be quite helpful when battling insomnia, as it can improve sleep and have a soothing impact on the individual. Listening to classical music is particularly efficient, and it does not impair the quality of sleep, as opposed to other methods, such as listening to an audiobook.
On the other hand, listening to upbeat and fast-paced music can be beneficial while exercising. Studies have shown that listening to songs that are high in energy and rhythm can motivate people to run faster and endure exercise more efficiently.
Throughout history, music has also had an undeniable impact on fashion and the way we dress. Different eras of music, whether the 70s or 00s, generated different styles, and fashion designers have sought inspiration in music since forever. And today, the clothes we wear are equally influenced by both present and past eras.
For example, the folk music of the 60s and the hippie movement gave rise to a particular type of style that became very popular. Relaxed clothes with colourful prints, patterns, as well as fabrics such as denim, defined fashion expression among all ages.
And even today, the impact of the 60s is all-present as denim shirts, checkered print, and military jackets are still prevalent in fashion. Similarly, hip-hop music inspired a different style characterized by baggy outfits and basketball jerseys and punk music introduced colourful mohawk hairstyles, leather, metal spikes or studs, chains and military-style boots.
The impact of music is apparent in many aspects of life, from our moods and behaviours to clothes we wear. It can alter some aspects of personality and even influence behaviours and feelings. And its impact on fashion is apparent in our day-to-day style.
 “10 Surprising Psychological Benefits of Music.” Verywell Mind [online] Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/surprising-psychological-benefits-of-music-4126866 [Accessed on: 17 Mar. 2020]
 “Your Musical Taste Shows And Affects Your Personality And Behavior.” Atom [online] Available at: https://brainwavepowermusic.com/blog/blog/your-musical-taste-shows-and-affects-your-personality-and-behavior [Accessed on: 17 Mar. 2020]