I was at a frozen food store yesterday, music was playing and I was humming along. After a while, still undecided as to what food to choose, I started singing to myself (in a low voice of course!)
I know your eyes in the morning sun I feel you touch me in the pouring rain And the moment that you wander far from me I wanna feel you in my arms again (...)
How deep is your love, how deep is your love
I really mean to learn
'Cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me
Seriously , I hadn’t even realized I was doing it…and then I did. I couldn't believe I was singing along to a Bee Gees song I hadn’t heard in a very very long time (at least as far as I’m aware). Here’s the thing: I most likely heard the song numerous times unknowingly, in an elevator, in a store, who knows?
I knew the lyrics to the songs. Yet if you’d asked me 5 minutes earlier if I knew the song, I’d have said that I remember it, I might have hummed it, but sing it? No. And yet I did! I know it really well apparently. I was tiny when it was popular and playing on the radio and it seems it’s imprinted somewhere in my brain (why, why remember that and not remember much more useful information?)
What’s fascinating here is that it’s not a song I particularly like. One might even say I used to dislike it. :-) So what gives? What part of my brain memorized this song 100 years ago and regurgitated it yesterday.? I listen to music all the time: did my brain react to the music? I’m obsessed with words: did the word part of my brain react?
Does this fall under the “once you know how to bike you never forget it" category? Is it because I learned that song before a certain age? Or a number of “reminders” I had over the years? Or is there a type of music that leaves a longer imprint in the brain?
I asked myself so many questions at that moment. And yes, you guessed it, I googled and youtubed it as soon as I got home. There might be more than one answer to my questions but most definitely, music is key here. Music and the brain is a fascinating subject, I got lost watching videos and reading articles about all the different ways music affects us.
Here's a brief summary of what I learned:
- Music is a universal human skill. It seems the earliest musical instruments we know of are at least 40,000 years old.