Type and Music | INFJ Forum

Type and Music

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Jonathan, May 27, 2010.

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  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan Community Member

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    I was thinking about music and how it relates to type, if at all. The INFJs on this forum have very different tastes in music, but I think there may be some things we have in common in our music preferences.

    I started this thread to get people's personal philosphies on music.
    How do you discern which songs/ artists/ genres you like or dislike?
    What does music mean to you, and do you think it relates to your cognitive functions in any way?
    What kinds of vibes do you have preferences for in a song?
    What, to you, is a good quality song?
    How important are lyrics to you?
    Feel free to elaborate as much as you want. All types are welcome. I want to see if there are any patterns related to type and music.
     
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    #1 Jonathan, May 27, 2010
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  2. Timeless

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    Lyrics are like the last thing I pay attention to.

    I usually like upbeat house, electro dance music, but I also love classics and oldies.

    I can go for anything, even country.

    I usually like everything except religious music.

    P.S. My music taste has never "changed" it has grown. For example, while I listened to a lot of oldies and hard rock back in the day, I listen to it and the new stuff out there; like deadmau5, Hed Kandi, and Beastie Boys to Metallica.
     
    #2 Timeless, May 27, 2010
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  3. Raccoon Love

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    I like music that has some sort of meaning and message. I really enjoy music with a lot of emotion, music that drives me. I really pay attention not only to the lyrics but to the tune of the song. Music easily moves me, whether it brings happiness, sadness, hope..all depends on the song, but it usually has some great effect on me.
     
  4. Skathac

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    What a wonderful question.

    It appears that what I listen to is heavily influenced by mood. Some I choose for the message the artist was trying to convey, others for certain periods they come from.

    When I first got into music I primarily listened to artists from the 60's and 70's. The grunge era in the early nineties got my attention and I dug on that for awhile, still go back to it now and again. I've listened to metal and punk, rarely country but sometimes it'll suit me. I was raised on bluegrass, pickers from around the area I live meet up once a year for a camp out for four days and play sporadically throughout the time. I attended that since I was a baby and my parents carried me along till just after I finished high school. A few years back I became interested in the big band era and jazz, I really dig Jelly Roll Morton's and Louis Armstrong's style.

    There are a number of artists that I've always dug. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kiss, The Beatles, Mammas and the Pappas, Sex Pistols, Fleetwood Mac, Metallica, Guns and Roses, Green Day, Bella Fleck and the Flecktones, Tupac, Beastie Boys, Jimmy Hendrix, 2-Live Crew, Aerosmith, Herman's Hermits, Eminem, Kid Rock, Parliament Funkadelic, Kool and the Gang...hell I could prolly go on all night I like alot of different music, just depends on the groove my soul needs at the moment I reckon.
     
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  5. Gaze

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    How do you discern which songs/ artists/ genres you like or dislike?
    - I mean it's hard to say. It's a personal preference which can't easily be defined or reasons identified. Sometimes, a song or beat just clicks, and you connect with it, but you can't explain why.

    What does music mean to you, and do you think it relates to your cognitive functions in any way?
    - Probably does but i wouldn't know how to even describe or explain it.

    What kinds of vibes do you have preferences for in a song?
    - It really depends on the mood. If i'm feeling down or stressed, something upbeat/pop tune works, but on occasion, something more laid back or soothing, a rb/jazz beat fits.

    What, to you, is a good quality song?
    - something with more emotional undertones but universal themes of love, life, etc. Something with a great message and a good beat.

    How important are lyrics to you?
    - It depends on the song. Some songs are great for the melody and the lyrics, but other songs are just great because of the beat, and the lyrics don't matter as much
     
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    #5 Gaze, May 27, 2010
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  6. OP
    Jonathan

    Jonathan Community Member

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    That's exactly what I hope to find out, the why.
    So what I'm getting so far, preliminarily, is that the NF's like music that has an emotional connection. It looks like we're drawn to certain types of music based on our mood, and like music with drive and meaning.

    I'm no expert on typology, but from what I know, I've put together some possible correlations between music and functions. Since our functions have to do with how we view the world and our preferences, I think they might describe why we choose to listen to the music we choose.
    Feel free to edit these or share your opinions about them.

    Ni- Focuses on the symbols, meanings, insights and patterns represented in the song. Generates possible and deeper meaning of the music as it relates to you.

    Ne- Always searching for and discovering new music, or generating new ideas or applications of old music. Makes connections between the song and their own experiences.

    Si- Reflects on what is heard and stores the "musical data" for reference. Associates music with real world experiences. May become very involved with the sensations of a song.

    Se- May have a very strong excitement for a song, and enjoys the sensual experience of the music. Outwardly reacts to a song (maybe through movement or dance)

    Ti- Finds patterns and order in a song they find enjoyable. Possibly enjoys repetition or cyclical beats or note progressions. Categorizes music internally, likely having a unique and well defined taste. "I like this kind of music, but I don't like that kind of music." Possibly prefers music that is less improvised or sporadic.

    Te- May be organized and logical in approach to music. Has logical ideas of what makes a good song or artist based on pros and cons.

    Fe- Makes emotional connections with the music. Empathizes with the song in terms of the emotions conveyed by the artist. Looks for harmony with your own values and emotions and the ones represented in the song or by the artist. Looks for songs that provide an emotional balance or peace (not necessarily peaceful music, but music that harmonizes with a certain mood.)

    Fi- Takes a very personal approach to music. Has an idealistic view of what kinds of music match what you value in a song or artist personally. Think about how the song relates to you as a whole.

    This is just my theory based on what I know about functions.
     
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    #6 Jonathan, May 27, 2010
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  7. bamf

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    Lyrics are extremely important to me. Anyone can write a bullshit 4-chord song, but it takes someone special to turn that 4-chord song into something that actually means something.

    My musical tastes generally revolve around punk, ska, reggae, hardcore punk, acoustic, jazz, classical, and some "old-skool" hip-hop. That is hardly inclusive though. A good song/artist is a good song/artist regardless of genre.
     
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  8. Gaze

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    Jonathan, your list of the functions and their musical correlates makes sense. Would be interesting to see what others say.
     
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  9. Raccoon Love

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    I use mostly all of those functions when listening to music, except perhaps the thinking ones. Though the Fi one seems to be the one that describes my taste in music perfectly.
     
  10. OP
    Jonathan

    Jonathan Community Member

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    That makes sense, since as an INFP, your dominant function is Fi. Do you find you use Ne when listening, too?
    From the basic descriptions, this would mean that you personalize and idealize your musical preferences based on feelings, and then search for new music that has connections with your own values and experiences, and then all the other functions would be less used. Is there some truth to that?

    I identify most with the Ni and Fe descriptions, but I'm biased since I wrote them.
     
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  11. Raccoon Love

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    Yes, this pretty much describes me perfectly.
     
  12. NeverAmI

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    I surprisingly pay little attention to lyrics on the offset of listening to a song. I haven't really broken down what I like or dislike about music. I have always liked jazzy complexity and faster beats.

    I don't like mind numbing repetition of the same thing over and over like some techno has. I need constant flow, change, growth in a song. Progressive is something I am very attracted to.

    I like all kinds of music, even if I say I don't like a genre there is a good chance there will be some songs that are the exception.

    I heavily gravitate to Metal and Rap, although as I learn more about music theory, I expect to start enjoying classical more.

    The beat, theme, and complexity of the melody/harmony of a song is typically what first attracts me, only after that do I attempt to learn the lyrics.

    There have been a few occasions where I was exposed to lyrics before hearing the song, which influences me differently.
     
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  13. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    How do you discern which songs/ artists/ genres you like or dislike?

    I like to explore different musical styles. I'll follow critical reviews and then try things out for myself. Then its just whether it works or not. To some extent, musical taste is a product of one's exposure between the ages of 8-14, when humans are supposed to establish the next generation's tribe identity. I take those roots and then I explore. Online labels and music services are a giant toybox full of goodness for me. Once I find an artist I like, and like a few of their albums, I'll generally stick with them through their various travails. At that point, I'm more interested in their emotional journey than their particular output.

    What does music mean to you, and do you think it relates to your cognitive functions in any way?
    Music is a means to allow my emotional mind to explore and engage, often while I am at work on issues that are purely logical. At home, music is a ritual I use to ground myself with my true self in our crazy untrue world. It can help me get away from the conditioning that I wear.

    What kinds of vibes do you have preferences for in a song?

    I like Transcendence and Emotional Holism. I also like music that tends to express more than just a romantic aspect. Romaticism is great, but it tends to be overly utilized. I also like songs that convey a truth the way a painting or a story does. 'Shake your booty' generally loses my interest fairly quickly. While 'Shake your booty because your momma done gone and died' would keep me interested. "Shake your booty cause momma done gone and died and the music will hint why' will keep me hooked.

    I suppose I tend to enjoy psychedelic pop with a somber mood. Not wanky/echoey stuff, but music with an emotional message that doesn't just rely on a voice to convey it. For me, music is about breaking down barriers in a sensory world and opening up a new one that is difficult to otherwise access. I tend to get bored quickly with music focused on the immediate only. Any music that can pass through such a barrier works for me. Some genre's look down on this transcendentalism, and so I tend to listen to them less than others.

    What, to you, is a good quality song?
    I like songs with many layers, complex parts, and a coherent whole that produces a unique emotional tone. I can handle a simple song once in a while if it is executed well. Repetition doesn't bother me as long as the textured layers convey an emotion. If they do, and hold it for 15 minutes, I consider that a great thing. I also enjoy songs that change up between different emotions that form a coherent story.

    How important are lyrics to you?
    Very important. I generally know the lyrics to everything I listen to. When I don't I dig at them until I understand them, and then I have to come to a reasonable interpretation. But I don't tend to have to worry about this at all. I've found that when I like a song a lot, and connect with the artist, the lyrics are almost universally just as good. I think composers with my taste in music tend to take their lyrics seriously, think they are important, and choose lyrics that fit the way someone like me connects with the song.
     
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    #13 Ecton, May 27, 2010
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  14. OP
    Jonathan

    Jonathan Community Member

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    Some patterns I've noticed that fall into these categories for INFJs.
    These apply to me, too.
    I put in the functions I think these patterns have something to do with.
    We seem to be drawn to:
    Lyrics with a deeper meaning. We like to dig deep and explore the lyrics of a song. We like to gain understanding of what the artist really means. (Ni+Fe)

    Songs or artists as opposed to genre (more about the atmosphere and feel than classification.) (Ni+Fe)

    Variety. We like to keep ourselves open to new musical experiences as opposed to sticking with familiar ones. (Ni)

    Songs that harmonize with, not necessarily alter, our current mood. It's all about experiencing our true emotional state. (Ni+Fe)

    Music that 'works' or 'suits us' by looking for emotional connection. (Ni+Fe)

    Introspective exploration of what the music means. (Ni)

    Music that grounds us and reflects our true selves. (Ni)

    Uniqueness and complexity. (Ni)

    Transcendence (Ni+Fe) and emotional holism (Fe) keep us hooked on a song long-term. *great descriptions, Ecton!

    Things I've also noticed:
    We tend to be loyal to artists we like, and get involved with the emotional journey and the artist's style development. (Ni+Fe)

    We connect with the artist (Fe) and when this happens, the lyrics usually connect equally as well. (Ni)

    Since Ni and Fe seem to come up a lot, it looks to me like there is some truth to type having something to do with music. I need more representation from other types before I can come to any conclusions. I'm also wondering which of these preferences are generic, and which ones are truly unique and individualized.

    Timeless: ENTP: Ne, Ti: Connects music with own experiences, finds patterns and order in music, unique, well defined and discriminating taste. His post seems to match that. While open to new musical experiences and appreciating the oldies, he made it clear that he does not like religious music. Upbeat house and electro dance music are very cyclical and have prevalent patterns that 'make sense.'

    Raccoon Love is pretty much synchronized between functions and music.
     
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  15. IndigoSensor

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    Music is exceedingly important to me, I think about it a lot, and it has a very strong power over me. I put a lot of effort into finding the music I listen to, why I like what I like, and understanding the inner workings of it. I have no musical training what so ever though, so everything I go by is purely how it sounds.

    How do you discern which songs/ artists/ genres you like or dislike?

    This sort of happened by chance really. I have always wanted to find music I like as a kid, but could never seem to find it. Between 2003 and 2005 I began to discover the genres of music I am into. They have evolved slightly over time, but remained intact mostly. I listen mostly to trip-hop, electronic, ambient, downtempo, idm, and shoegaze. All of them combine, mix and match in some ways with the bands I listen to. I have moved beyond just the genres into understanding the sounds in music that I look for.

    At the core, I fall in love with music that has these specefic elements: A deep persistent low frequency line. It could be a base, or just a flowing sine wave. This gives a feeling and sense of "fullness" to music. It in a sense completes it. Another element I like is higher frequency sounds. This in a sense rounds out the bass lines in the music. Theses higher frequencies are often vocals (which are very often female), or higher pitched electronic sounds. It's this disparity between high and low that sort of completes the music. I also like music that doesn't follow "classic" organization of songs. I like unique, strange, or off the wall setups. To me this makes the music interesting, intrqiguing.

    What does music mean to you, and do you think it relates to your cognitive functions in any way?


    Music means everything to me. I often use it as a way to describe, align, and understand my emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Often I can't find any words or any way to describe my thoughts moods or feelings. I resort to sounds and music to convey this. It is frusterating to me that others will not respond the same way that I do to such a song, but it is the closest I could do. It acts as a mirror, and sometimes the only release I can find. It gives me fufillment, meaning, alignment. I can safely say I would be very incomplete without music.

    As far as functions, I think it is really hard, if not impossible to catagorize functions and type by genres and sound. There might be some modest corrarlations but thats it. All of us INFJ's on here seems to cover nearly every genre of music you can think of. All of us are also not going go like everything the others like either. That's just how it is. Your analysis of how each function will look for and process music though, makes sense, and I am inclined to agree with it.

    What kinds of vibes do you have preferences for in a song?

    I sort of already described this in a previous paragraph. As far as an actual "vibe" though, I can't quantify it totally. The vibe and feeling a song gives me is highly personal and internal. I can't equate it to any physical analouge, nor can I adequetly use emotions to describe it without the meaning of it getting lost in the process.

    What, to you, is a good quality song?

    A good quality song, is a song that gets me thinking, gets me feeling, and I connect and relate with it. It has an original sound that I haven't heard before. It is independent, creative, and emotional. It has all the qualities I look for in music, and it was created, without some purpose. It was just made, as music.

    How important are lyrics to you?

    Not important at all. Meaningful lyrics in a song certainly add to music, and extremely vulgar lyrics can detract from music. However, it never acts as a determining factor for me in liking or disliking music. It is all about the sound to me. It matters hundereds of times more on how the lyrics are actually sang, as opposed to what they are saying.
     
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