Many people say that one of the main purposes of genres and subgenres is to identify what we as individuals like to hear and what we don't like to hear. Here is a small selection of the artists I listen to:

Windir, Linkin Park, Nirvana, Adele, Eminem, Death, Franz Ferdinand, Green Day (linked: the only salvageable song from the new album :)), Johnny Cash, Radiohead, Tame Impala and Twenty One Pilots.

If you click each of these links, you'll see just how different these are from each other. I mean, sure, a lot of them are influenced by rock, but there are so many different subgenres and styles here. So if I like Nirvana, do I like Alice in Chains? Heck yeah I do! Since I like Linkin Park, I must like Korn. Um, no?

My question is, does enjoying a song which could be categorized by even the most specific (named) subgenre increase the chances of someone enjoying another song of that subgenre at all?

Valfar (the late singer of Windir) termed his music Sognametal after his hometown of Sogndal, Norway. Over the years, it has come to encompass a handful of other Norwegian bands whose sound was similar, most of which were founded by previous members of Windir. So if I like Windir, I must like other Sognametal bands, right? Their sounds are almost identical to Windir's, after all! Nope. No other "Sognametal" bands I've heard have been able to resonate with me nearly as much as Windir.

So, what do y'all think? Is it any more likely that I will enjoy Taylor Swift because I enjoy Adele? (Hint: I really don't).

Any thoughts appreciated!


2 Answers 2


A genre is defined by a set of stylistic similarities and it's logical that someone who likes one artist/band of a genre will be more likely to like another artist from the same genre. But although the correlation is probably high, there are plenty of reasons that a listener might not like a similar band. Maybe the band plays badly, or the singer has an unpleasant voice, or the guitarist plays boring solos, or the texts are uninteresting, or the sound is badly mixed, or whatever. So even though it's likely you'll like something similar, there's no guarantee. Music tastes are just too subjective.
The algorithms of streaming services like Spotify work this way. If you like one song, the service suggests other songs that are similar.
So, to answer your question: there is probably a significant overlap between Taylor Swift and Adele fans (and probably only a small group of hard-core fans of each of them who hate the other one just because they're not their idol).
Unfortunately I don't know of any studies which would substantiate this.


Like @PiedPiper said, music is too subjective. I just wanted to add that it is possible to like a song of a certain genre without necessarily enjoying that genre. For example, Cupid Shuffle. I know lots of people that don't even listen to that kind of music, but LOVE that song.


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