back to

e-flux conversations

Love of Instrumental Music Is Linked to Intelligence



At the website Big Think, Robby Berman reports on the results of a recent study about the links between intelligence and listening to instrumental music. The study found that people who scored high on an intelligence test tended to prefer non-vocal music. The study’s author speculates that this is because intelligent people seek out novel mental stimuli, which is found more in instrumental music like jazz and classical. Check out an excerpt from the article below.

Study author Elena Račevska also found that the manner in which subjects used music, as well as their personality, affected their preference. Five such personality factors were identified: reflective, popular, conservative, intense, and sophisticated. Those who listened to music more cognitively — consciously analyzing its composition and performance — especially enjoyed instrumental music. They same people were also attracted to reflexive, intense, and sophisticated music.

Image: American minimalist composer Terry Riley. Via Stranded Records.


What non-sense – “smart” “intellect” “cognitive” “analytical.” There are many kinds of intelligence, many ways to choose between things, and many forms of cognition. Meet my dog. Ask an empath. And respect someone with a mental disability. The article reported here is speciesist, reductive, and able-ist.