You Must Remember This: On Music and Memory

*Read the following introductory sentences in your best infomercial voice*

What’s your most vivid memory? Is there a song that triggers that memory? If so, I want to hear about it!

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, let me explain why I’m curious about your musical memories.

Music today is practically intangible and, thus, easily disposable. Some of us pay $10 a month to stream almost any song on any album by any artist.

Some of use free apps that shuffle songs for us in the vein of a particular artist or genre, with the occasional Olive Garden ad between songs.

And a few of us, including yours truly, stream, but we also blow our money on antiquated musical technology that we pretentiously consider to be the ideal listening experience (a.k.a. vinyl records).




How Music Impacts Memory

While music may have become more intangible, it can actually make our memories more tangible in our brain eyes. (I like brain eyes better than “mind’s eye.”)

According to a website I quickly googled to sound credible, “The region of the brain where memories of our past are supported and retrieved also serves as a hub that links familiar music, memories and emotion.”

You probably didn’t need me or some science guys to tell you that, though. I’ve seen that look of reminiscence on the faces of friends and family as they recall vivid memories associated with a particular artist, song, album, or concert.

For many music lovers, even the memory of buying their first record, tape, or CD can be powerful.




Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

In the coming months, I hope to collect these memories from anyone who wants to share them in this blog series. You can either write an entire post and send it to me, or you can send me a blurb. I’m sure I can figure out some way to include it.

I named the title of the blog series after the lyrics of the song “As Time Goes By,” which plays an important role in the movie Casablanca. When the protagonists, an estranged couple, hear the tune, it conjures memories of a happier, more romantic time together.

And that’s essentially what we’re trying to accomplish here, folks. Not all of the memories need be happy ones a la Casablanca. They just need to be connected to music in some way. And by the end of this project, we’ll hopefully have a beautiful, diverse tapestry of songs and memories to enjoy.

Contact me on Facebook or email me at if you’re interested in writing a post about your musical memory.

Happy listening!

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