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The Madera Tribune

Sounds of music trigger memories

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webmaster | 09/22/12

Some of us enjoy modern music on the radio. Others merely put up with it. And still others keep their radios tuned to the talk shows. Hardly anybody likes all kinds and generations of music.

Most prefer the music that was being played when they were growing up. It was then that your parents likely told you to “shut that crap off.” Their parents probably told them the same thing.

Why do people tent to gravitate toward the music they heard when coming of age? Probably because of memories that are stirred of good times. Those were the days of the two sexes discovering each other and learning how to dance. To dance, one requires music, even if one is only dancing alone.

Occasionally we are shown music revivals on public television. During those shows, groups that played music in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s are up there on stage again. Generally, they look a little fat in their ill-fitting tuxedos. But when those geezers break into song, the geezers in the audience nearly faint with delight. Then many in the audiences start to wave their arms, and some start dancing in the aisles. They look even more like 5150s than they did back when they first heard the music. (You may ask what a 5150 is. It is a police and paramedic code for someone who appears to be a little nuts.)

Maybe those in the audiences are remembering being high or inebriated when they first heard those songs, or maybe they are remembering being in love.

Scientist say music acts as a trigger for the memory. You can be walking down a street, for example, and suddenly an old familiar song jumps into your head. You start humming it. The song won’t let you go. You hum it all day, and you probably don’t know why. It may be reminding you of something important, which a newer song might not be able to do. So, listen carefully.


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