From the WSJ today

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by A.N.A. Mendez, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    Notable & Quotable
    How are musicians able to memorize so much music?
    April 29, 2015 6:05 p.m. ET
    From “How Do You Memorise an Entire Symphony,” by Jessica Grahn, Magazine - BBC News, April 28:

    The extraordinary ability of musicians to recall millions of musical notes over a lifetime is undoubtedly one of the most impressive feats of human memory. . . .

    The demands placed on musicians’ memories may physically alter their brains. When hearing familiar music, both musicians and non-musicians activate a key brain area called the hippocampus, but in musicians the activity is higher.

    Moreover, musicians have more “grey matter” in their hippocampuses, as do others in memory-demanding professions, such as London taxi drivers who have completed “the Knowledge”.

    Neuroscientists have found that musical memories can be preserved in the brain even when most other memories are lost. . . .

    Neuroscientists are still trying to discover why music can be resistant to memory problems. One possibility is that music, like smell, taps into primitive emotional centres in the brain that have widespread connections to other brain areas.

    These connections across the brain are what make the memories robust. This wide distribution could also explain why music conjures up rich memories, as for example with a song that hasn’t been heard for decades.
  2. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

    Aug 2, 2010
    North Carolina
    And music contains logical, sequential" threads" of melody and accompaniment...these threads link thoughts into a coherent fabric, additionally augmenting other mnemonic sources.
    Besides, the emotional components interrelated within the fabric of memory triggers...that, and the dusty smell of the old woodwind woman sitting in front of you at the concert.
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I guess I should retire to London....
  4. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    "Neuroscientists have found that musical memories can be preserved in the brain even when most other memories are lost. . . ."
    This reminds of the video of the old Alzheimer's patient that was given an ipod with Cab Calloway music, and he just started singing it like he
    was 20 again.

    Previously, I had read that smell can be especially nostalgic because the relevant part of the brain is close to where your memories are, but
    I guess it's more complicated than that and has to do with the number of "connections" that smell can make.

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