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February 9, 1990

Adolescents and Their Music: Paganini, Satanists, and Insider Trading

JAMA. 1990;263(6):812. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440060052020

To the Editor.—  The article by Drs Brown and Hendee1 on music in adolescence addresses several salient points about the importance of music to the adolescent; however, in targeting heavy metal it becomes very much typical of the media's assault on this form of music. Drs Brown and Hendee direct their discussion toward a form of music that they never really define clearly. Is all music with a "loud beat and performers with aggressive and startling stage antics" heavy metal? In his age, Niccolò Paganini was known similarly. Then, is the work of Paganini heavy metal? As is typical of these discussions, the different categories within the genre are not identified (ie, power pop, hardcore/ thrash, progressive, and neoclassicalfusion). Is all heavy metal correlated with poor school performance? Drs Brown and Hendee cite Roe,2 stating that "music preferences are dependent on earlier levels of school achievement." It seems