One of the things that I love the most about music is that you get to meet specific traits of somebody just by listening to the way they play. Music communicates a lot of information, and I believe that personality, thoughts and feelings can be transmitted through it.

 

Some psychologists use drawings to read into their patients. They can ask a patient to draw a tree, and by the size of the branches, leafs, if the grass touches the tree, if there is a sky, a sun, the size of the sun, the stick figure next to it, if it smiles or not, they can tell a lot about the patient.

 

My goal in my research whenever I get to my PhD is to hopefully dive into how to do this with music and improvisation. Since I haven’t gotten to my doctorate degree yet, I will just give you some hints about what I have noticed about how music relates to people’s personalities.

 

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  • Open Personality

    • This kind of personality relates well to art, unusual ideas, curiosity, emotion, and adventure. People in this category tend to be very creative and interested in various different things. They are often times spontaneous. (That’s me! =D )
    • Musicians who have this kind of personality often times venture in contemporary jazz. They want to find new ways to express themselves, and value playing something new. They tend to like music that is abstract and a slightly bit harder to follow then your typical 4/4 time signature tunes.

 

  • Thorough Personality

    • This kind of personality has a tendency to show discipline, and focuses on achieving goals measured against outside expectations. They tend to always be prepared, pay attention to details and enjoy order. They like to follow a schedule.
    • Musicians who have this kind of personality often play styles of music that are less dissonant, and have predictable harmonies. When playing jazz, they focus more on being able to mimic different styles and sound authentic with their swing instead of looking for new music adventures.

 

  • Extraversion

    • This kind of personality is widely known. These people are the “life of the party” and high energy individuals. They tend to be very engaged to the external world.
    • Extraverted musicians tend to not practice very often because they need variety, and may see practice as boring. They tend to stick to styles such as pop and country, which is relatable to most people.

 

  • Agreeableness

    • This kind of personality values others and their emotions. They tend to sympathize with others and try to make people few comfortable as much as possible.
    • When it comes to music, I have noticed that people with this personality make good band leaders. They care about their band members and value their opinion, which turns them into inspirational guides that are able to get the best out of the musicians in their band.

 

  • Neuroticism

    • This people get easily annoyed. They tend to experience negative emotions out of most situations.
    • Have you ever heard of punk rock? Metal? Emo? There we go..

 

 

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Music, a Window Into a Musician’s Personality
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