Why do we remember music and forget about others

For for many people, music is associated with a part of our subconscious. It’s always playing back, whether we’re at a coffee shop, in the elevator, working from home, or just walking down the street. Every year, Spotify shows us how many minutes we spent listening to music. I spent 53,402 minutes in 2021—17 hours a week – more time than I did on anything else. In 2017, Nielsen estimated that Americans spent over 32 hours a week on average listening to music. It’s not surprising that we have such a strong memory for music that we can easily remember songs and lyrics, even if we haven’t heard them in years.

In March, a new Wordle term called Heardle was released. He attempts to memorize music by asking people to see a song after hearing only one second of it, and for each mistake, to lengthen the song by one second. I’m happy to have a place to use my musical knowledge, not just me. Millions of players have used Heardle to find popular and nostalgic songs from different generations, from the Fugees to the Spice Girls to Adele.

Heardle’s fame touches on an interesting part of human thought: how deeply we hold songs in memory and how easily we can remember them. “There’s a way called paradigm gating [which is] very similar to the Heardle program, “said Dr. Kelly Jakubowski, assistant professor of music psychology at the University of Durham in the UK” You are presenting a message [and then two, and then three to] to see how long it takes people to see a piece of music, so I think it’s funny that they hit that. [with Heardle]. ”

Many of us hear music in our minds, which are called music or audio recordings. “This can be done with pleasure or feeling, so if I am [ask you to] Think of the song ‘Happy Birthday,’ you may hear it playing in your mind right now, but it can still be done without. That’s what we call an earworm, when we have a song that sticks in the mind without you trying to remember a song, ”says Jakubowski. your head— “about 90% of people say they have an earworm at least once a week and about ⅓ people say they have an earworm about once a day,” he said. As you can imagine, the more people listen to or interact with the music, the more we listen to the music, the more we come to reasoning.

Programs like Heardle are fun to play because “when we see or think music is very important to us, we get the awakening of what we call paid servers. our brains, ”Jakubowski said. Listening to music releases dopamine in the brain, with our dopamine levels rising by up to 9% listening to the songs we enjoy. That is why music has so much to do with the way we present and entertain ourselves.

“Music is really connected with personal knowledge, and so on [when people can] Seeing pieces of music without knowing it is a common song from their youth [which can trigger] what we call the autobiographical memory group, ”says Jakubowski.“ Older people have a very good memory of certain songs from their youth because they often listen to that same story… It can bring back memories from the time you had this personal information. “

Listening to nostalgic pop music in Heardle can have a mental effect, because the music stimulates mental responses. “If you’ve only seen a piece of music about the first second of it, you’ve got this music video. [that] Maybe you start remembering that whole piece of music, and then you get the feelings associated with it, “Jakubowski said.” Music videos can get the same responses as actually listening to a piece. me. “

When we listen to a song, we don’t just remember the song and the lyrics – we understand the ideas that are being expressed. “Setting yourself in the mood will really help you remember the real music better,” says Dr. Andrea Halpern, doctor of psychology at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

In a 2010 study published in Music Information, Halpern and co -workers listened to the musicians for the first minute of the classic pieces and recorded their determination of the feelings they were hearing into the music through their valence and rhythm. awakening. Then, the participants repeated the experiment by only thinking about the first minute of these songs playing in their minds. “It’s amazing to cover their side, which means they’re doing this hard piece in real time and taking on the same ideas,” Halpern said. Musicians were able to record the emotions expressed in the song while playing with their heads and thinking about the song with great clarity and almost identical numbers.

This shows that we can re -create certain types of music in our minds. “Thinking about music is a lot like seeing music,” Jakubowski said. “There [are] very strong in the words of brain stimulation that you see when you think of music as well as when you see music.

We may not remember the song very well, but it is good. In a 2015 study published in Memory and knowledge, Jakubowski, Halpern, and colleagues on the accuracy of our unseen musical imagery to see how our imaginations relate to real music. Participants wore accelerometers and, each time a song was held in their head, would press to record the beat of the song. “We knew that these people who participated, most of them were non -singers, they really remembered the nature of music in non -music films,” Jakubowski said. “[59%] Earworms are present in 10% of the time they are infected [which suggests that] Even though those who don’t have a lot of regular practice in music just think about music in their daily lives… it comes to the right mindset, at least in the way of time .

Even if you’re not a musician, you can get an intuitive insight into music from how often you watch it. “We don’t have to read our favorite book and watch our favorite movie every time we listen to our favorite music,” Jakubowski said. “Musicians who don’t have a real musical memory. Although they’re not trying to memorize a piece of music, they’re becoming more and more popular and they become musicians in a variety of ways just because of this view of music. [that’s] very important in our world today. “

People often wonder why we remember songs and poems more than our own memory, where we kept our keys, and what we learned in school. It seems to be because of how much we know the music, the world or our emotions, and the joy and connection it brings us. Music reflects our personality and our feelings, so it is what we remember.

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