I, as many young people of my age, was grown up with rock music. During my puberty, I took it further with any genre of metal. However, since I started using Spotify 5 years ago my music taste has clearly changed. Yet, I wonder if music taste can easily be changed or is it bound to DNA?

I'm a bit lazy and the advances of Spotify is having easy access to any kind of music. Multiple playlists that can be started with a single click. Instead of searching for new artists, I just wanted music to cover the silence of my room.

I've ever since listened to more and more dance, pop and house music that I'm starting to generate a preference for these genres. Do note, I still like (and love, even a bit less though) metal music.

Sure growing up affects our preferences, including music genres. But my experience could tell that listening a specific genre for a long time might turn out liking that.

That's why, again, I'm asking whether music taste is written in DNA or can it easily be changed?

  • 1
    If music taste was bound to DNA, we wouldn't have had anything new since we lived in caves.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 26, 2017 at 15:01
  • I doubt that. Music is a matter of rhythm and pitch. Pretty sure you can at least have a preference of slow and fast, which are already two genres. Our thumbs have grown since the cave man and that's so bound to DNA, simply because we use them more in the past hundred years. Aug 26, 2017 at 19:00
  • Ermm... nope. Wrong. basically we haven't evolved in 40,000 years. Anyway, I think your question needs some actual research, rather than wild speculation.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 26, 2017 at 19:03

2 Answers 2


The answer is no. Preference for music is at best epigenetic, tied highly towards capacity for timing. Research into amusia, autism and schizophrenia (all disorders associated with processing time-based information) is showing that while its occurence can appear in family lines, the affliction cannot be identified due to markers in the DNA. There is something environmental that is going on.

However, an answer like this can only go so far. While I'm sure that there are some from the biology, psychology and neurology stacks stroll over here, I'm not sure they may be the ones best equipped to answer. Perhaps posing this question with regards to medical disorders, specifically amusia, might get you some answers that you are looking for.


I think your question is a little misphrased. If music tastes were in our DNA, we would all like a mixture of what our parents like, and that clearly isn't true for most people. As it turns out, studies have shown that most teenagers like very popular music, and as you get older, your tastes tend to get further away from the mainstream.

On the other hand, other studies suggest that as we get older we are less willing to learn to love new things, whether food, art or music. But for me at age 41 I am still learning to love new genres of music. I even occasionally still like a current pop hit (from time to time). Many people tend to stick with the music loved in their own community, but that isn't true for everyone.

In general, it's tough to like any music genre until you've heard enough songs to get used to it. Hearing more songs of that type helps you learn the difference between them, and to tell the good from the bad. If you only hear it once, it all will sound the same to you. But there's no reason you can't expand your musical tastes (at any age) if you are motivated.

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