Student music, why do we even like it?

By van Ardennen & Verbruggen - 2 November 2022

In the diverse storm of all the music genres you can zoom in on a small spec that is the student music genre. Before I went to the university, I had no clue that this type of music even existed and even if I did, I probably would not have understood why so many people liked it. During your studies you get overwhelmed with activities of which a lot of them also contain some type of music. For example, the famous cantuses where you sing and drink till you drop. Additionally, there is a wide variety of student bands all over the Netherlands that make music with lyrics that relates to typical student life issues. For those of you who have never heard of it before, I would refer you to the  Stuko (‘studentikoze’) list on Spotify or to Radio Phoenix (a radio with songs made by student corps of the Netherlands) to get a bit of an idea.  

Over the years, student music has taken-up a place in the storm of all the music genres, but I always get the feeling that it only attracts a very specific audience. Why is it that mostly students listen to this type of music? Is it because the topics covered in the songs are only appealing to us during this time of our lives? Are our brains just temporary wired to like this type of music during our student lives? Does this mean once we graduate, we actually grow a distaste for it? 

From research it has been shown that singing during a cantus is such a big deal because singing together stimulates a feeling of togetherness and connectivity to each other. That is fun and all but what about all the other types of student music that you will most likely not hear at a cantus?? 

In order to not only rely on a theoretic approach, In ‘t Audt thought it would be interesting to take on a more hands-on approach so we went out to do some field research for you. Therefore, we decided to go the first edition of ‘Vo met een harde V on Thursday the 20th of October. The information given beforehand promised us a concert with live-music only made by students with a variety of jazz, hip-hop, covers and sing-along songs. Sounds like the perfect event to do our field research. So, after the special drink on the go we went. With our tickets in our hand, we entered Dynamo and got swallowed by the mass of students that were eagerly singing or maybe it was more shouting to a song I, to be honest, don’t remember. Getting something to drink and wiggling our way to a somewhat comfortable spot where we were able to kind of move around and dance. Throughout the night bands took each other’s place and the promised variety of music came by. Personally, I was blown away by the brass band that almost fully consisted out of wind instruments but overall, it was a lot of fun, and I went home with a sore throat due to loud singing I had done. The next day was the time I had to think about how I would be able to answer the questions I stated previously. Well, I don’t know how to perfectly describe it because it such a specific feeling that it is difficult for me to generalize it into a concrete thought, but of course I will try.  

Ultimately, I believe that the reason students like this type of music so much is because we understand that at this moment we are at the peak of our young lives and that we should be enjoying it to the fullest extent. As music is a medium that brings people together this type of music makes sense and nonsense of this weird time in our lives and connects us through its content. When given the opportunity to sing and dance our asses off to this music we feel connected in a sense that we are here to make the absolute most of it.  

To be honest, it is unknown to me as well what it is specifically, but this is the most sentimental but genuine thought that had come to my mind. Do with it or think of it whatever you want but I hope that this article will also allow yourself to enjoy this student music genre as much as possible at this absolutely amazing time of our lives!  


Intermate is the study association of the bachelor Technical Innovation Sciences, the majors Sustainable Innovation and Psychology & Technology and the masters Human Technology Interaction and Innovation Sciences.


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