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Music nostalgia can be passed down.

You Can Thank Your Parents For Your Musical Preferences


You already know that you can inherit your mother’s eyes and your father’s nose but did you know that you can inherit their taste for music too?


Researchers at Cornell and UC Santa Cruz have been studying the role nostalgia plays in our music preferences. They know that young adults are preferential to songs that were popular in their tween and teen years because it helps them recall fond memories (For more information on the relationship between music and memories, read this blog post).


But what researchers discovered next was interesting.


They learned that 20-somethings also have a penchant for songs from the early 1980s and from the 1960s. Why?


According to Priceonomics, parents and grandparents’ played the popular songs of their youth before and after they had children. These tunes then became a part their ancestors musical DNA.


As The Altantic noted: “Just as nostalgia tends to confer more nostalgia, popularity also tends to build on itself: Once a song makes it to the top of the charts, the memories people associate with it help to keep it in our cultural consciousness.”


So, while you may laugh at the quality of music today, keep in mind that 20 years from now, young kids will have a nostalgic feeling when they hear Pharrell’s “Happy” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”


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