Rock me, Amadeus (Or how Mozart and heavy metal fans have more in common than they'd like to admit)
Researchers found fans of Motorhead shared "virtually identical" personality traits with Mozart lovers, both being unusually creative and introverted.
As part of a study into the link between people's musical tastes and their personalities, psychologists at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh asked more than 36,000 people worldwide to rate 104 musical styles and questioned them on aspects of their personality.
Professor Adrian North, Heriot-Watt's head of applied psychology, said the results showed musical tastes could directly reflect people's characters.
While indie music listeners tended to lack self-esteem, pop music fans were largely uncreative, he said. People into country and western were hard-working, rap fans were outgoing, and lovers of jazz and classical music were innovative and bursting with self-confidence.
Most surprisingly, he said: "I was struck by how similar fans of heavy metal and classical music really are. Apart from the age differences, they were virtually identical.
"Both were more creative than other people, both were not terribly outgoing and they were also quite at ease with themselves."
But Susan Nickalls, a classical music reviewer for The Scotsman, poured scorn on his theory. "What do you do if you like hip-hop, jazz, classical and rock – does that mean you are schizophrenic?" she asked. "How can you say that everyone who goes to an opera is creative? This guy should research something serious.
"I like heavy metal and I like classical and I like opera. I like Whitesnake, and my favourite operas include Tosca. When the heroine throws herself off the battlements, heavy metal people might say that's the equivalent of bashing your guitar on stage."
Fiona Shepherd, The Scotsman's rock music critic, said it would be good if the survey contributed to the rehabilitation of the heavy metal music fan, to give a more "rounded and surprising picture".
Prof North suggested fans of jazz and soul had the "best" character traits, including high self-esteem and an outgoing nature. He went on: "People often define their sense of identity through their musical taste, wearing particular clothes, going to certain pubs, and using certain types of slang. It's not so surprising that personality should also be related to musical preference."
Some 36,518 people from countries as far afield as Malaysia, China, Japan and Chile were asked to rate musical styles ranging from chart pop to Bollywood music and opera as part of the Heriot-Watt study.
Huzzah for mass generalisations. Since I fit into both camps of Metal fan and Classical fan, then I suppose I'm the exact double of myself. Or something. I've been listening a bit of Dresden Dolls lately. I was completely surprised at what they actually sound like. In my head, I'd written them off as a rubbish ear-bleeding Murderdolls-a-like or something similarly awful. Not the case. Punk caberet they call it, all piano, experimental sounds and word play lyrics. Very enjoyable.
I'll be posting later more on a fic auction I'm taking part in (just need to send the app away) and perhaps my thoughts on what I've seen on the Rep/Dem conventions (I'm going to steer right past my sudden attraction to Chelsea Clinton. Maybe.)
But for now, I was left with this bizarre thought as I washed this morning. With my black pj T shirt pulled over my head but still hanging on there at the crown of my head, I was hit with a sudden realisation : I'd look no too bad in a habit.
Anyone else had similar thoughts? Surely we all did something similar as kids? No? Just me?