Most kids are under the impression that parents (or just “old people” in general) would rather have a root canal than listen to the music of teenagers. However, research proves that this alleged intolerance is, for the most part, just a myth.
This new information appears to have surprised much of America, due to a survey the Pew Research Center of Washington completed about musical preferences. When asked if the young and the elderly have similar or different tastes in music, 69% of those surveyed replied “very different,” whereas a mere 12% said “very or somewhat similar.”
The PRC conducted a follow-up survey including the opinions of 1,815 people ages 16 and older about the favorite music of each age group. The results of the survey had a surprising amount of overlap in preferences across generations.
The most commonly liked band of those ages 16 to 64 is the Beatles. Rock is also the favorite musical genre of that group, while those 65 and older prefer country.
Back in the 1960s, this was not the case; in fact, it was just the opposite. A survey taken in 1966 concluded that 44% of men and women disliked rock, which is far greater than the statistic of those who disliked even genres such as opera (17%). Times have surely changed.
In present day, however, the common ground for rock is where the similarities end. Hip-hop and rap is the second choice for people ages 16 to 29, fourth for those 30 to 49, and seventh for men and women age 50 and up. These statistics are very similar to those observed about rock in 1966, which begs the question if history might repeat itself; could hip-hop and rap eventually become the new acceptable form of musical expression?
A very diverse collection of performers earned a coveted spot on the top twenty list, according to the PRC survey. Artists such as Kanye West, Coldplay and Carrie Underwood rank among the top twenty, along with legends Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix. Bands who originated in the 60s and 70s claim majority on the list, followed by artists of the 80s.
With such a vast smorgasbord of musicians in the top twenty, a prediction of the new favorites for even a few years down the road appears to be impossible.