Antonis Gardikiotis, Alexandros Baltzis

Psychology of Music, 2012, 40(2): 143-163
DOI: 10.1177/0305735610386836
SAGE Publications, ISSN: 0305-7356



The present study examined the relationship between music preferences, values and musical identities in a sample of 606 Greek college students in the three institutes for higher education in Thessaloniki (Greece). Students indicated the importance of their music preferences in defining and evaluating themselves and their values on an abbreviated version of the Schwartz Value Survey (1992). The questionnaire included 26 musical genres resulted from an exploratory research.

The factor analysis revealed a typology of music preferences with five items: Sophisticated and Complex (e.g. jazz), Native-Greek Traditional (e.g. 'rembetika'), Sentimental and Sensational (e.g. pop), Established Rebellious (e.g. rock), and Non-mainstream Dissonant (e.g. punk).

Hierarchical regression analyses showed that values and perceived importance of music to self-definition (i.e. musical identities) contribute differentially in predicting the music preference structures (e.g. self-transcendence predicts Established Rebellious, conservation Sentimental and Sensational etc.).

The findings are discussed and interpreted in a social psychological framework as well as from the point of view of the sociology of music that has a long tradition in studying the musical taste and the factors that may have some influence on it. The chosen approach and point of view are based on the fact that during the last years it becomes more and more difficult to explain cultural consumption based on the "classical" demographic factors. As a result, there is an increasing interest to explore the common grounds between the omnivorousness hypothesis, developed by R. Peterson, and the homology argument, formulated by H. Gans and elaborated by P. Bourdieu.

This is the first study of this kind carried out in Greece, while the analysis of the relation between values and musical taste is not very common in the literature.