Monday, January 25, 2010

Music Memory

I was hangin' out at the ol' Alzheimer's support group the other evening (whoo-hoo!), and I came across a musician that was a new face in the room. He said he didn't have much of a negative effect with regard to remembering music. I thought about that from my own experience and concluded that "Music Memory" is a completely different part of the brain. Sound, in general, has a powerful place in the human experience, obviously, but in many ways, it is overlooked somewhat, especially in the horrors of cognitive testing. As a former choir boy and a lover of music, I have begun to believe that music and the utterances of birds and other natural sounds get short shrift in the aural landscape. As for memory, I have found that a tune is more memorable than an essay, but learning bird song is much more difficult. I have retired from cognitive testing, but I believe that my bird-song memory is holding it's is still really tough, but I think it may actually be getting better. If you think about it, the average Joe probably has over a hundred tunes that he or she can recognize at a moment's notice. I can only remember probably twenty bird songs...but they are much more difficult to acquire.
In a slightly different vein, the array of human voice-only recognition is probably pretty substantial. I would wager that voice recognition is improving as fast or faster than other forms of cognition. But the human voice is in no danger of disappearing!

1 comment:

  1. And in regards to that vast plethora of human voices, it was an utter joy in hearing yours today! I love you, man.