Music and memories

Music and memories

Music and memories are very closely linked. I never thought I'd need to write that sentence, but then I watched "My Music: Classical Rewind" on PBS (Channel 11 in Chicago) last night. Great music was played, with very simple explanations of why particular pieces are important.

Very simple, in the sense that I knew the answer to every little question in the program. It was written for those who have never noticed that great music is throughout Western culture. (This symphony was in this movie, etc.) I could have cried -- and not just when my least favorite piece of music showed up, unexplained and unannounced.

I could have cried worse for all of the people who, presumably as adults, were noticing these pieces for the first time. Poor souls!

Just that morning (it being Sunday), I'd found one of my favorite hymns in the church bulletin. I didn't even need to open the hymnal to sing "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah." It was there in my memory... much to the amazement of the lady next to me who said after the service "I noticed that you knew all the words to the last hymn."

Of course I did. I grew up singing it. Maybe more importantly, I grew up expecting to remember it.

That's a value of music lessons. You repeat things in lessons in order to learn them, to repeat them later and better. Are we losing that as a culture?

When am I going to need to know this music? Who knows; just get ready.

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.

Filed under: Music and language



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  • Your "least favorite piece of music"? You've piqued my curiosity.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Drat. I knew I shouldn't have mentioned it. Sorry.

  • The problem with most modern music is that it is only remembered as a bumper for a station break or an advertisement. Maybe that's because I don't listen to B96.

    BTW, a headline on the B96 website is Hanson Brothers Call Justin Bieber’s Music “Chlamydia of the ear'. I bet someone would remember that. It also appears that B96 has only about 6 songs on its playlist, none of which is Tributosaurus f/ Spiegel with "You got the Cubs game on The Score."

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm not sure I follow you completely here, Jack, but you've got something about repetition being a key to memory.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Actually, it is the reverse. [Since Hossa is in the news today] Take for instance that song after the Blackhawks score a goal. There had to be a newspaper story on what it actually is. However, we know that it is the song after the Blackhawks score a goal.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well, thanks for the consoling memory, Jack. Actually, what thunders through the rink.. or used to (sigh)... was just part of a song called "Chelsea Dagger." The memory can now cool us off!

  • I am not a very good example of a person who understands music nor know it well. However, there are certain songs that bring back very powerful memories for me. Have you ever heard the one hit wonder "Treat Her like a Lady?" Whenever I catch a bit of it I am transported back to High School, going to the beach. Great day that I can relieve with a song!
    Great post!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    You are so right. I remember the exact time I first heard the score of Camelot; I was washing the kitchen floor way back when and, I think, I had WFMT on.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Don't let it be forgot!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Thanks for your memory, Kathy. I don't recall "Treat Her Like a Lady," but you made me smile -- when I was at school (no comment what grade), I kept hearing "That Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady." Yes, I was Serious enough then to worry about the grammar!

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