Why do some songs immediately bring back old memories, and how does that impact what we hear in the song? Berthold Hoeckner, associate professor of Music, explains this phenomenon on Stylus, a documentary radio series on sound. Together with a writer and a neuroscientist, Hoeckner discusses music’s transformation into a carrier for memory, stacking multiple memories on top of a single melody.
“Music is probably, next to architecture, the art form that makes the most of use of repetition, and when you repeat something really your art form is predicated on memory,” says Hoeckner. “Music is not just a memory, it can also be a cue. So it cues up things that music becomes associated with.”
Explore “The Memory of Music” at WBUR.