Lovers of musicals take less drugs

…says the BBC.

From BBC News:
Music taste ‘linked to drug use’

Club music fans are more likely to take drugs, the study says. More than a quarter of classical music fans have tried cannabis, says a study from the University of Leicester.

Researchers were trying to find out what people’s taste in music revealed about their lifestyles. They discovered that fans of every style of music had taken drugs, with those who preferred DJ-based club music topping the list.

The study also revealed that blues buffs are the most likely to have received a driving penalty. More than 2,500 people were interviewed for the study, which is published in the scientific journal Psychology of Music. They answered questions on their living arrangements, political beliefs, education, work and pastimes.

Fans of musicals come out as the most mild-mannered group, with the lowest level of drug-taking and criminal acts. They also drink less regularly than other music fans, and are among the most likely to do charity work. 34% of fans of musicals like Grease do regular charity work.

But followers of hip hop and dance music are more likely to have had multiple sex partners over the last five years and were among the biggest drug-takers surveyed.

“It comes out in the study that, in these types of music, fans score worse in various behaviours, such as criminality, sexual promiscuity and drug use,” said Dr Adrian North, who led the research.

“It was shown that this had nothing to do with their ethnic backgrounds,” he added. “The behaviour was linked purely to musical taste in its own right.” The study did reveal links between education and musical preferences. People with a PhD or Masters degree are more likely to enjoy opera, jazz, blues or classical music.

Hip-hop fans were the most likely to have attended a fee-paying school. Musical taste also proved indicative of financial status, with fans of adult pop and classical music the most well-off.

They are even more likely to pay off their credit card bills each month than the less solvent fans of hip-hop, rap, dance and club music.

The report’s authors acknowledge that some of these findings are related to age and social class.

To paint a more accurate picture of how musical tastes correlate with people’s lifestyles, they are now seeking to expand their survey on a global scale.

They hope to recruit 10,000 interviewees on their website for further research, which is being funded by the British Academy.

“We want to paint the first worldwide picture of who likes what,” said Dr North.


24 thoughts on “Lovers of musicals take less drugs

  1. Susan, you have to admit, you’re a very unique personality. Though I think you’ve mentioned, you like musicals too. I think you’re the most generous listener I’ve ever known.

  2. Thanks D. I do tend to like just about anything. I just ordered a Judy Garland movie on dvd, and some Astaire/Rogers films too. I’ve decided it’s time to start collecting all those movies I loved to watch as a kid.

    I’m wondering, though, if it’s people who like music that take drugs, or if it’s people who take drugs that like music. Drugs can certainly enhance the music listening experience. Or is it that music enhances the drug taking experience?

    And for the record, I’ve never taken any drugs at all.

  3. Me neither, except Claritin and Tylenol.

    I think most taste is experiential, which is why I think you’re unique. Most Mormons wouldn’t think of listening to doom metal, let alone setting foot in a club or going near a nosh pit.

    I played keyboards in a rock band for 5 years in the 80s, and I never had a good time, even though I liked the music we played (classic rock from the 70s, the Stones, the Who, etc.) I just never warmed up to the atmosphere in the clubs we played; because I’m gay? maybe, but also because, I grew up Mormon and it seemed vaguely hedonistic and sinful. And I’ve never liked the attitude, and rock is all about attitude.

  4. Ah, well I wasn’t raised Mormon. But I don’t go to shows for the social aspect of it—I go to hear music. My favorite music to hear live is doom metal—I don’t actually listen to it much on cd. But live, it’s like a huge wall of sound coming at you. Really awesome.

  5. I can see why some people like A.L.W.—it’s syruppy. People like syrup. Also, that’s all the musical theatre that most people know of. They have nothing to compare it to.

    What I want to know from the study is which people were determined to be the coolest. I expect it’s probably fans of indie/alt rock.

    And D., not all rock is just about attitude. Some rock is about the same things that Musicals are about. It’s just different trappings. Some rock is storytelling, some is poetry, some is literature, some is sonic experimentation, some is posturing, some is rebellion, some is conformity, some is angry, some is solemn. It runs the gamut.

  6. As do musicals.

    One of the things I really liked about that study — it made to aesthetic judgments at all. Rock isn’t superior to musicals, which are not superior to rock.

  7. Does it take a study to realize that people who go to raves and listen to house music are about 99% more likely to take ecstacy than people who don’t? (And I suppose you could almost say the same thing about people who go to jam music festivals, if you substitute pot and acid.)

  8. I think D. Fletcher has a point earlier, about the hedonistic sinful atmosphere of live rock, so to speak. I honestly don’t get the atmosphere surrounding most live rock music.

    Screaming fans make it hard to hear the music. Other activities that also seem to be common at rock concerts — also distract from the music. Massive arenas full of thousands of fans and seats far away from the artists — not good either. Music that is way too loud for my ears — distracts from the music. Wild flailing about (by the artists) often detracts from the quality of the performance.

    If I could sit up close to a truly talented musician/singer and listen in almost total silence to what that artist is playing/singing/etc. … that would appeal to me.

  9. Geeze, Dan, you’ve just described every show I go to. They’re all in small bars, and I’m always against the stage. Unless they’re all ages shows, then I’m not usually up so close, because those are the shows with the nosh pits.

  10. What Susan M said. I don’t understand the arena rock appeal either, but small shows (all but a few bands, and a lot of very good bands, play small shows) can be a great experience.

    I do sometimes wish that the music was turned down a bit, depending on the set up of the club. But you can always wear earplugs.

  11. I sat no more than three yards away from jazz guitar master Joe Pass when he played at the Light House in Hermosa Beach (way back when). That’s an experience to remember.

  12. I haven’t been to that many concerts and it is probably because the few I’ve been to were such disappointments. I saw the Ramones, the Who and Squeeze. The only concert that interested me was Squeeze and that was because the pianist was jamming and making it interesting. And the only thing I could think, even then, was how great if would be if only those damn stupid girls would SHUT UP and stop screaming.

    If you pay money for a ticket, then go to the concert and scream the whole time, what was the point? You could stay at home and scream for a couple of hours for free.

  13. I think I must be getting old, because I’m starting to prefer shows at concert halls to seeing a band at a small venue. Mostly I just hate all the cigarette smoke and poor ventilation. It’s gross to wake up the next morning hacking up grey crud, and a little scary since I have breathing problems at times anyway. Also, it’s great to be able to sit down in a comfy seat instead of getting shoved around by tall people who want to be in the very front of the crowd.

    Of course, in-store performances are great because they’re free, earlier in the day, AND smoke-free. Yeah, I’m definitely getting old.

  14. L.A. bars don’t allow smoking. It’s nice. And they actually have clean bathrooms, too. (Unlike Seattle bars, where the bathrooms looked lethal.)

  15. ‘Scuse the bad vibes (from me) on this thread.

    Just this past weekend we went to a restaurant and heard a very talented saxophonist who was backed up by a drummer and keyboardist. He was playing gospel tunes and occasionally singing. He was really good and it was a lot of fun. I went home and looked him up and found out he had played for decades and even alongside such famous names as Jimi Hendrix and Chuck Berry.

    Susan is right … I just need to look around here a little more and I’ll find venues and music to suit my moods.

  16. so as a heavy metal, punk rock, scream-o, alternative and broadway music listener… what would that classify me as?you couldn’t classify me. not without knowing me at least. and why are you trying to sterotype people? how can you make those assumptions without knowing people that like kinds of music. I know plenty of people who enjoy listening to hip-hop music and aren’t sleeping around. so how about we don’t make preconceived judgements, huh?

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