Why do we like THIS over THAT?

Specifically, why do we like a piece of music performed by one great performer over the same piece played by another great performer?

If you are not a seasoned music veteran, chances are you like it just because you heard it FIRST!

Music is experience. Experience changes you and they way you brain works, defines what you like, what you don't like, what you are afraid of... It will take another extensive experience to overwrite the earlier one. That is why Western music listeners do not necessarily like music of exotic places with their own musical culture and vice versa. Your whole life's experience conditions you to perceive certain music with special pleasure.

Great conductor Zubin Mehta produced Turandot, an Italian opera by an Italian composer based on Italian fairy tale where action takes place in a fairy tale version of China.

Zubin Mehta produced it in modern China with friendly help from the Chinese government who even provided 300 soldiers to serve as extras in the production. It took soldiers over two months of constant listening to start hearing this Italian music and singing as actual MUSIC. Western music was so different from music they had experienced all of their lives, that the soldiers at first heard it as some cow mooing - those were the exact words of a few of them.

Although called a universal language, music is very local. You have to have extensive experience to HEAR MUSIC.