Sunday, May 01, 2005

Music and memory...

I woke up this morning with the words to two different Smiths songs whizzing around my fuddled brain. The first was Sweet and Tender Hooligan and the second I had to look up because although I could remember the words I couldn't remember the title was 'Half a Person' (lyrics can be found at:

It's amazing how song words embed themselves in your brain. Yesterday in the car we were listening to some songs on the ipod and I realised that I know all the words to Londons Calling by the Clash and the other week I found that I could sing 'The spirit of Radio' by Rush all the way through despite the fact that I haven't heard it since I was 18 ( This seems all the more remarkable when you consider the fact that I often can't remember important dates and things that happened a few days ago.

Is this a symptom of getting older? Does the short term memory deteriorate and the long term memory improve? Is that why old people spend all their time reminiscing about the past? Or is it that things learnt musically are more likely to stay in your memory. Maybe I should have learnt my anatomy and physiology for reflexology in the form of a song.

I often wonder where all that forgotton informatrion goes to. Is it stored in your brain and just inaccessible or does the new information push the old unused information out? For example as a young child I knew everthing there was to know about dinosaurs and I was also a good chess player - now I can't remember how to play chess and can remember little about dinosaurs. So where did that inforamtion go?? and if the old information does get pushed out why can I rember all those song lyrics, some of which are to songs that I never even liked.

Found this link that links verbal memory to music training....will have to investigate further.

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