What We Move to Moves Us: Biological Rhythmicity Predicts Musical Preferences


For at least 350 centuries, humans have invented music that offered special aesthetic appeal. Yet, the reasons for these preferences and effects are not understood. Here, we show that listeners prefer music with an underlying rhythmic structure that closely approximates our biological structure. Specifically, listeners preferred music with musical (rhythmic) structures that correspond to biological rhythmicity (motions). This finding, grounded in a straightforward biological framework, provided an intellectual advancement in the long history of thought and experimental work on the basis of musical preferences.

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