Musical Memories (Illustrated)

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I remember looking down at his face as it contorted in ecstasy. I remember the red of the blood the next morning.

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For years, I told myself it was a funny story. Classic me.

And then one day, maybe five years later, I was sitting on the couch in my Whitechapel flat. And suddenly the gravity of what happened that night on the sofa bed became very real. It raised up in my throat and filled my lungs with icy horror as I vomited up the memories of his assault into my bin. My parents chose it as the song to soundtrack their first dance, in But ever since they divorced in , my mum refuses to listen to it.

Is it possible to recode our connection with a song, to change it from bad to good? To save ourselves from emotional landmines when we turn on the radio? When memories are formed, they encode themselves into us, carved into our grey matter like grooves on a vinyl record.

Musical Memories (Illustrated Edition) (Dodo Press) -

What we do know is that those grooves run deepest when etched in with music — but unlike vinyl, which is stiff and set, our memory is complex, flexible and malleable. But underneath that rests the hope and the happiness that she once felt. Her experience and connection to that song has unconsciously changed as she has moved through life.

Perhaps, if she listened to it again in moments of peace and serenity, then it would be recoded again as related to a happy memory. Music has the power to take us back to a place.

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But, we, to a certain extent, have the power to choose how music brings us forward. We have the power to take songs and experience them in new contexts. Above all else though, the fact that pieces of music can weave their way into our brain chemistry and become a fundamental part of us is, in of itself, incredible. There is a bit of them left, under the surface and waiting to be discovered.

If nothing else, that should bring us a little hope. Some studies of undergraduates show that current mood influences memory; see, for instance, Bower and Forgas Bower, G. In Cognition and emotion , Edited by: Forgas, J.

Musical Memories (Illustrated)

Oxford : Oxford University Press. Mather concludes that among younger adults, negative mood increases the likelihood of remembering negative information.

Musical Memories

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