The Loh Down On Science

Is there a connection between musical taste and head shape?

Does the shape of your noggin shape your taste in music?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

They say there's no accounting for taste.  But maybe there is some accounting for it.

Take your skull—it has a resonant frequency.  Think of it as the note that sounds when you thump the side of your head.  Go ahead.  Try it.  Just not if you're driving.

Researchers from William Paterson University wondered if resonant frequency affects musical taste.  So they pressed a microphone to sixteen volunteers' heads.  They then had the subjects tap themselves on the head to record their resonant frequency.

Next, the volunteers listened to original melodies in the twelve major keys and said, Hey, I like that!  Or, No, I don't!

The team found that head shape did influence the volume a person heard, and their melodic preferences.  But the connection was subtle, which means it merit more studies.

At the very least, for you rock and rollers, it does give new shape to the term head-banging.

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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