Musical Memories

I make very strong memory associations to music. Not necessarily entire songs, because I can pick out multiple memories from a single song based on different parts.

For example, there is a song that makes me vividly picture walking down Dean Keeton from Whitis to the ENS building my freshman year. It is relatively chilly and overcast, and I’m walking on the right side of the street after having eaten breakfast at Kinsolving.

There is another song that takes me back to senior year of high school, driving to AP exams at the Baytown Community Center on Market St. It is a sunny day and absolutely beautiful outside. Although it is late in the school year, it is very mild outside with nice dry air, so I’m driving with my windows down.

I have no idea why these seemingly trivial memories are associated with these songs. It makes no sense to me, because these are not events that I really NEED to remember.

The point of all of this is, I am apparently particularly prone to making strong memory associations between music and events. I should also point out that those two events are by no means the first time or last time I heard those songs, but for some reason they are what I associate with them.

Does anyone else make these kind of associations? I just find it odd that these trivial memories are so vivid and can be triggered by just a few bars of music.

I also have very strong memories tied to smell… Is my brain broken?


  1. Coda says:

    Nope, this isn’t broken; this is how the brain WORKS. We form associations between memories at varying levels of intensity. It’s especially common for people to associate smells with memories, but music is common too.

  2. carter says:

    I’m totally the same way. Random moments in songs that trigger random memories.

    I can also easily remember things if I listen to music I was listening to during whatever era of my life.

    Loopback. Echos. Who knows. 😉

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