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(Pacific Standard Magazine)   Musicians have superior memories ♫ Here comes ♫ the science ♫   ( psmag.com) divider line
    More: Cool, memory tasks, Short-term memory, efficient chunking strategies, Music, working memory, long-term memory, The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two, short-term memory tasks  
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673 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Nov 2017 at 12:50 PM (11 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-11-03 10:14:38 AM  
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They can "Chunk" better?
 
2017-11-03 11:10:44 AM  
Guess I'd better pick up that guitar, then.
Or the Tuba.
 
2017-11-03 11:36:34 AM  
Drtfa, but music makes memorization enjoyable.

Whenever I think of a note on the scale, it's usually from a piece of recorded music.

"C" is Ravel's Bolero. Eb is the beginning of Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto.
 
2017-11-03 12:58:42 PM  
All participants were young adults (their mean age was 23)

Well that's just... wait... I forgot what I was going to say.

It's because I've had "D'esposito" running though my head all day.
 
2017-11-03 01:01:58 PM  
I wonder if it's related to to the chunking process when reading music.

Also, for a lot of the musicians I know, the improvement is counteracted by the pounds of marijuanas they inject.
 
2017-11-03 01:12:30 PM  
"a slight superiority of musicians over non-musicians" There.... That's better.
 
2017-11-03 01:25:24 PM  
All the pot negates that positive.
 
2017-11-03 01:33:17 PM  
I have this discussion often with the wife every time we hear of another STEM initiative that pulls funding from the arts or another district scrapping art/music for robotics, coding, etc:

Music is the one subject that can reach students in every class period who learn in ALL of the types of learning (Visual, Logical, Aural, Verbal, Physical - social or solitary for each) when lessons are designed in the right way.  Even a poorly designed music lesson can't avoid at least most of these if the educator attempts to reach most of their students.  Enhanced memory in all activities is one trait that is improved when you learn in your "type" even if the subject is not music (reading comprehension or math skills noticeably improve when music is added or expanded in elementary school curriculum).

Kids that are absolute shiats or dullards in their homeroom class come to life and excel in music.  Their parents and homeroom teachers are always amazed at their behavior and success in music class with Mrs. Togawife.  Kids that transfer into her school from the "bad" part of town see greatly improved test scores and behavior/focus that can partly be associated to having a vibrant music class for one or two hours a week.

/Wife and I are both musicians
//Advocate for the arts, people!
 
2017-11-03 01:37:00 PM  
I suffered some massive head trauma back in '07. I started having a lot of memory problems. I couldn't remember my friends names or what I was doing half the time. Then I picked up the piano. Now I'm a little better than back in '07 when I had some massive head trauma. I started having a lot of memory problems. I couldn't remember my friends names or what I was doing half the time. Then I picked up the piano. Now I'm a little better than back in '07 when I had some massive head trauma. I started having a lot of memory problems. I couldn't remember my friends names or what I was doing half the time. Then I picked up the piano. Now I'm a little better than back in '07 when I had some massive head trauma.
 
2017-11-03 01:49:40 PM  

Amish Tech Support: All the pot negates that positive.


If that were true, they'd forget all their songs onstage.
You can get so stoned you forget what you were saying, but that doesn't translate to when you're not stoned. Even long term, or many of us boomers would no longer be functioning.
 
2017-11-03 01:57:00 PM  

whidbey: Drtfa, but music makes memorization enjoyable.

Whenever I think of a note on the scale, it's usually from a piece of recorded music.

"C" is Ravel's Bolero. Eb is the beginning of Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto.


I remember a music theory class teacher giving examples how your basic pitch intervals are easily heard in popular compositions. For example: the perfect fourth is heard in the first two notes of Wagner's wedding march; the perfect fifth is emphasized a few notes into the Star Wars theme, the minor third is repeated in the bridge of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, the major sixth is the first interval in that old 3-note NBC theme, etc.

I often associate E-flat with Beethoven's 3rd symphony, even though I like that 5th piano concerto better.
 
2017-11-03 02:00:37 PM  

mufhugger: I suffered some massive head trauma back in '07. I started having a lot of memory problems. I couldn't remember my friends names or what I was doing half the time. Then I picked up the piano. Now I'm a little better than back in '07 when I had some massive head trauma. I started having a lot of memory problems. I couldn't remember my friends names or what I was doing half the time. Then I picked up the piano. Now I'm a little better than back in '07 when I had some massive head trauma. I started having a lot of memory problems. I couldn't remember my friends names or what I was doing half the time. Then I picked up the piano. Now I'm a little better than back in '07 when I had some massive head trauma.


tl;cr
Have you considered taking up a musical instrument?
 
2017-11-03 02:01:41 PM  
Sure they have great memories - until it's their turn to buy a round.
 
2017-11-03 02:06:00 PM  

togaman2k: I have this discussion often with the wife every time we hear of another STEM initiative that pulls funding from the arts or another district scrapping art/music for robotics, coding, etc:


As long as there is halftime, the marching band will have [at least absolute minimum to march] some funding.  Because every school needs a football field that costs more than the rest of the school.
/STEM isn't the problem
//lack of funding is the problem
///football is the source of said problem (football can raid academic/arts funds, but never, ever vice versa).
 
2017-11-03 02:20:13 PM  

togaman2k: I have this discussion often with the wife every time we hear of another STEM initiative that pulls funding from the arts or another district scrapping art/music for robotics, coding, etc:

Music is the one subject that can reach students in every class period who learn in ALL of the types of learning (Visual, Logical, Aural, Verbal, Physical - social or solitary for each) when lessons are designed in the right way.  Even a poorly designed music lesson can't avoid at least most of these if the educator attempts to reach most of their students.  Enhanced memory in all activities is one trait that is improved when you learn in your "type" even if the subject is not music (reading comprehension or math skills noticeably improve when music is added or expanded in elementary school curriculum).

Kids that are absolute shiats or dullards in their homeroom class come to life and excel in music.  Their parents and homeroom teachers are always amazed at their behavior and success in music class with Mrs. Togawife.  Kids that transfer into her school from the "bad" part of town see greatly improved test scores and behavior/focus that can partly be associated to having a vibrant music class for one or two hours a week.

/Wife and I are both musicians
//Advocate for the arts, people!

This. STEM should be replaced by STEAM. Full STEAM ahead for our next generations!

yet_another_wumpus: As long as there is halftime, the marching band will have [at least absolute minimum to march] some funding. Because every school needs a football field that costs more than the rest of the school.
/STEM isn't the problem
//lack of funding is the problem
///football is the source of said problem (football can raid academic/arts funds, but never, ever vice versa).

This, too. Football is soooo much more important for the cerebral development and well-being of our progeny ― Can Trump Everything.

Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: mufhugger: I suffered some massive head trauma back in '07. I started having a lot of memory problems. I couldn't remember my friends names or what I was doing half the time. Then I picked up the piano. Now I'm a little better than back in '07 when I had some massive head trauma. I started having a lot of memory problems. I couldn't remember my friends names or what I was doing half the time. Then I picked up the piano. Now I'm a little better than back in '07 when I had some massive head trauma. I started having a lot of memory problems. I couldn't remember my friends names or what I was doing half the time. Then I picked up the piano. Now I'm a little better than back in '07 when I had some massive head trauma.

tl;cr
Have you considered taking up a musical instrument?

Obligatory:
Storm Front - Where or When
Youtube ihdtI0E_mmQ
 
2017-11-03 02:29:10 PM  
I'm not sure where they get this from.  I'm sure that a lot of people who are not musicians probably look at a live performer and go, "holy mackerel!  How can that person remember all those notes?!"

Here's the thing.  It's all about patterns.  If someone were to ask me to start playing Mouth for War from Pantera, but start at note #67...  There is no way I could tell you what not that is.  I wouldn't even be able to count the notes to 67 while playing the song.

In other words, you start at the beginning, and what you recall is what comes next.  And you instinctively remember those parts as they come together.  Every song is broken into parts.  Each part is a pattern.  So you are remembering chunks of stuff in order, not individual notes.
 
2017-11-03 02:29:46 PM  
Everybody have fun tonight
Everybody chun king tonight
 
2017-11-03 02:31:18 PM  

COMALite J: togaman2k: I have this discussion often with the wife every time we hear of another STEM initiative that pulls funding from the arts or another district scrapping art/music for robotics, coding, etc:Music is the one subject that can reach students in every class period who learn in ALL of the types of learning (Visual, Logical, Aural, Verbal, Physical - social or solitary for each) when lessons are designed in the right way. Even a poorly designed music lesson can't avoid at least most of these if the educator attempts to reach most of their students. Enhanced memory in all activities is one trait that is improved when you learn in your "type" even if the subject is not music (reading comprehension or math skills noticeably improve when music is added or expanded in elementary school curriculum).Kids that are absolute shiats or dullards in their homeroom class come to life and excel in music. Their parents and homeroom teachers are always amazed at their behavior and success in music class with Mrs. Togawife. Kids that transfer into her school from the "bad" part of town see greatly improved test scores and behavior/focus that can partly be associated to having a vibrant music class for one or two hours a week./Wife and I are both musicians//Advocate for the arts, people!

This. STEM should be replaced by STEAM. Full STEAM ahead for our next generations!


This better be sarcasm.

STEAM is the acronym that allows administrators to pay lip service to the arts while still cutting funding.
 
2017-11-03 02:55:51 PM  
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2017-11-03 03:24:26 PM  
Counterpoint:

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-03 03:57:26 PM  

cyberspacedout: whidbey: Drtfa, but music makes memorization enjoyable.

Whenever I think of a note on the scale, it's usually from a piece of recorded music.

"C" is Ravel's Bolero. Eb is the beginning of Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto.

I remember a music theory class teacher giving examples how your basic pitch intervals are easily heard in popular compositions. For example: the perfect fourth is heard in the first two notes of Wagner's wedding march; the perfect fifth is emphasized a few notes into the Star Wars theme, the minor third is repeated in the bridge of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, the major sixth is the first interval in that old 3-note NBC theme, etc.

I often associate E-flat with Beethoven's 3rd symphony, even though I like that 5th piano concerto better.


If their memories are so great then how come they repeat the same four chords?
Axis of Awesome - 4 Four Chord Song (with song titles)
Youtube 5pidokakU4I

A couple NSFW words.
 
2017-11-03 05:44:59 PM  
Thanks for the Memory
Youtube nKgUq5dziEk
 
2017-11-03 05:57:35 PM  
Musician here. From everything that I've read, we're supposed to have good memories...until the booze starts flowing. I played in a blues band that gigged at plenty of divey beer bars. Once the sauce starts flowing, memories get fuzzy but the ability to play remains mostly the same, if not slightly diminished. The correlation between creativity and substance abuse is unfortunate.

*cracks a beer and picks up a guitar*
 
2017-11-03 06:13:15 PM  
As a musician I can say I have a weird memory, but I don't know if I'd say it's a superior one.

I can remember things that happened as far back as when I was 2 years old but I can't remember what I ate for breakfast or something someone told me 15 minutes ago.

When it comes to songs, I have a large repertoire of songs committed to memory but I don't really "remember" them. When I perform one of the worst things that can happen to me is to consciously start thinking about the song I'm playing. If I think "I'm playing the G chord now, then I play the A minor, then I play... oh fark! Oh shiat! I have no idea what chord comes next. And what the hell are the lyrics for the next line?" and then things fall apart. Most musicians I know are exactly the same way. If they consciously think about the song they're playing they can't remember how it goes, but if you just sort of zone out a bit your subconscious takes over and you perform it flawlessly even though it might not be a song you've played in years.
 
2017-11-03 06:32:39 PM  

durbnpoisn: I'm not sure where they get this from.  I'm sure that a lot of people who are not musicians probably look at a live performer and go, "holy mackerel!  How can that person remember all those notes?!"

Here's the thing.  It's all about patterns.  If someone were to ask me to start playing Mouth for War from Pantera, but start at note #67...  There is no way I could tell you what not that is.  I wouldn't even be able to count the notes to 67 while playing the song.

In other words, you start at the beginning, and what you recall is what comes next.  And you instinctively remember those parts as they come together.  Every song is broken into parts.  Each part is a pattern.  So you are remembering chunks of stuff in order, not individual notes.


Not quite true. A lot of my basslines are different every measure, I have to remember all those notes, a pattern wont do since it changes every 8 notes or so. And I have them memorized so well that I can start the song anywhere, I don't have to start at the beginning. Even in the middle of a measure.
 
2017-11-03 07:22:20 PM  

toejam: I wonder if it's related to to the chunking process when reading music.

Also, for a lot of the musicians I know, the improvement is counteracted by the pounds of marijuanas they inject.


I see my thought has already been voiced.

/carry on
 
2017-11-03 07:40:42 PM  
Well, I know that if I'm trying to remember lyrics, it's helpful to make a little song of it.
And then try to beat that record.
 
2017-11-03 09:16:34 PM  
As an old guy who just started learning how to play guitar, I wonder how this will...

What were we talking about?
 
2017-11-03 09:35:31 PM  

mrsleep: durbnpoisn: I'm not sure where they get this from.  I'm sure that a lot of people who are not musicians probably look at a live performer and go, "holy mackerel!  How can that person remember all those notes?!"

Here's the thing.  It's all about patterns.  If someone were to ask me to start playing Mouth for War from Pantera, but start at note #67...  There is no way I could tell you what not that is.  I wouldn't even be able to count the notes to 67 while playing the song.

In other words, you start at the beginning, and what you recall is what comes next.  And you instinctively remember those parts as they come together.  Every song is broken into parts.  Each part is a pattern.  So you are remembering chunks of stuff in order, not individual notes.

Not quite true. A lot of my basslines are different every measure, I have to remember all those notes, a pattern wont do since it changes every 8 notes or so. And I have them memorized so well that I can start the song anywhere, I don't have to start at the beginning. Even in the middle of a measure.


Yes.  You have a series of patterns memorized.  You remember what order they go in.  And you remember the individual passages.

This is not different from what I said.
 
2017-11-03 09:47:30 PM  
No sheet music?  No problem.

Bazzini - Itzhak Perlman
Youtube xUozVQVt1xI
 
2017-11-03 10:37:30 PM  

big pig peaches: As an old guy who just started learning how to play guitar, I wonder how this will...

What were we talking about?


Hen Fap. Or was it bathing Santa?
 
2017-11-04 10:07:13 AM  
The pot helps bring it back to....wait, what thread was this?
 
2017-11-04 12:57:51 PM  

Ghastly: As a musician I can say I have a weird memory, but I don't know if I'd say it's a superior one.

I can remember things that happened as far back as when I was 2 years old but I can't remember what I ate for breakfast or something someone told me 15 minutes ago.


That's called being a pothead :p
 
2017-11-04 01:01:38 PM  
From a science perspective, this is kind of old news. We've known about this cognitive Advantage from training musicians for quite a while now. As for the substance abuse aspect, a lot of these studies focus on classically trained musicians, like violinists. They're less likely to engage in heavy drug use. More likely to engage in inappropriate activities with flutes.

A lot of these studies will screen for drug use as well. Recent study a colleague of mine ran even did a urine drug screen.

But now for the fun part. Drummers don't count. They have no cognitive advantage. Because I'm not real musicians. It's been scientifically proven drummers, all you do is hit things with sticks. Not real music. It's a beaut that real music is built on top of.

Suck it drum monkeys.

/Science!
 
2017-11-04 06:01:38 PM  

chawco: From a science perspective, this is kind of old news. We've known about this cognitive Advantage from training musicians for quite a while now. As for the substance abuse aspect, a lot of these studies focus on classically trained musicians, like violinists. They're less likely to engage in heavy drug use. More likely to engage in inappropriate activities with flutes.

A lot of these studies will screen for drug use as well. Recent study a colleague of mine ran even did a urine drug screen.

But now for the fun part. Drummers don't count. They have no cognitive advantage. Because I'm not real musicians. It's been scientifically proven drummers, all you do is hit things with sticks. Not real music. It's a beaut that real music is built on top of.

Suck it drum monkeys.

/Science!


At least they still get a lot of tail.
 
2017-11-04 06:39:34 PM  

spacelord321: chawco: From a science perspective, this is kind of old news. We've known about this cognitive Advantage from training musicians for quite a while now. As for the substance abuse aspect, a lot of these studies focus on classically trained musicians, like violinists. They're less likely to engage in heavy drug use. More likely to engage in inappropriate activities with flutes.

A lot of these studies will screen for drug use as well. Recent study a colleague of mine ran even did a urine drug screen.

But now for the fun part. Drummers don't count. They have no cognitive advantage. Because I'm not real musicians. It's been scientifically proven drummers, all you do is hit things with sticks. Not real music. It's a beaut that real music is built on top of.

Suck it drum monkeys.

/Science!

At least they still get a lot of tail.


Way more than me, for all my science-foo!
 
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