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ERIC Number: ED511715
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Pages: 109
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Music Preferences in the U.S.: 1982-2002
Mizell, Lee
National Endowment for the Arts
Music is everywhere. People listen to compact discs while relaxing at home, MP3s while jogging in the park, live music concerts in their free time, and internet radio on the computer. What are people listening to? Who is doing the listening? How have listening patterns changed over time? This report aims to answer those questions by using data from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) to examine music preferences across the United States. Overall, the survey data point to changing music preferences over time-- both across the country and within demographic groups. While most genres experienced notable declines in popularity, rap/hip-hop, classic rock/oldies, and blues/R&B experienced increases. Analysis also reveals important associations between demographic characteristics and music preferences. Although each of these demographic characteristics provides information about "who likes what," what this report clearly suggests is that much of what explains music preferences is not directly observable. The goodness-of-fit measures in Appendix D show that only a small amount of the variation in music preferences can be explained by these demographic characteristics. Although adding arts engagement measures substantially increases the explanatory power of the regressions, the vast majority of the variation in music preferences remains unexplained. In short, while it is possible to broadly identify who likes what, understanding the social, environmental, and personal dimensions of music preferences is far more complex. This study should be of interest to any reader who is a little curious to find out what type of music is likely to be playing on the radios, CD players, or iPods of adults in his or her community. The report should also be useful to educators, researchers, and music industry personnel who are invested in knowing who listens to what. Appended are: (A) Description of Data, (B) Methodologies, (C) Regression Model, (D) Estimated Audience Size, and (E) SPPA survey Questions. (Contains 37 tables, 1 figure, 62 footnotes, and a bibliography. This report was written with Brett Crawford and Caryn Anderson.)
National Endowment for the Arts. 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20506. Tel: 202-682-5400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Endowment for the Arts