Music is everywhere and it has always been. Our ancestors danced to tribal beats and prayed to the rain. Today, we dance in clubs, we listen to music when we socialize, we listen to it when walking or driving, we listen to it alone while pondering on the most intimate of thoughts and emotions. As human beings, we are drawn to music, inspired by music and defined by music.

The psychology of music

According to a study conducted at the University of Cambridge, we're exposed to music for nearly 20% of our waking lives. We may not all like the same genres, but what we like listening to says a lot more about us than we think.

Music Psychology scholar Adrian North conducted a three-year study (the results of which were published in Reader's Digest), analyzing the relationship between personality traits and musical preferences of almost 40,000 participants. The results were surprising, to say the least.

According to the study, classical music fans are creative, self-confident and introverted. Complex and reflective individuals. Interestingly, according to North, classical fans and heavy metal fans are "basically the same kind of person," except the latter are generally younger.

Hip-hop fans, on the other hand, are generally extroverted and self-confident, while rock fans are selfish and self-centered, yet easygoing.

Pop music listeners are sociable, self-confident, extroverted and nervous. Pop fans are more likely to use music to regulate their mood than any other group.

Blues and Jazz fans are creative, open-minded and liberal, while country fans are the exact opposite -- they are empathetic, unpretentious, hard working and politically conservative.

A part of us

Music is, without a shadow of a doubt, a part of who we are. It is a key element of our civilization and perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of mankind. We love it because it can alter our mood or fit the current mood we are in. It is the perfect self-medication, our best friend and our worst enemy.

We love music for a reason.

Likewise, we love particular types and genres for a reason. Your musical taste is the manifestation of your personality and subconscious, your deepest fears, emotions and most intimate thoughts. Music is everywhere and it is everything. Like The Doors front man, Jim Morrison famously sang: "Music is your only friend, dance on fire as it intends. Music is your only friend. Until the end."