Thu
15Dec
UTC
6:00pm
Online

Why do certain songs stick?

Dr Victoria Williamson

Yes, earworms are annoying, but have you ever stopped to think what they reveal about our brains? They are the price we pay for an astounding relationship our minds and bodies share with music that lasts our entire lives.

Learn about this Garden Talk

There it is again, that piece of music that’s stuck in your brain. It was there when you went to bed, it’s there as you awake in the morning and continues to play out on a loop on your commute. Earworm! Yes, earworms are annoying, but have you ever stopped to think what they reveal about our brains? They are the price we pay for an astounding relationship our minds and bodies share with music that lasts our entire lives. 

Before sight, before we touched a texture, even before we tasted anything, there was sound. Sound is the first sensory experience, audible from about five to six months into pregnancy. When babies are born, they remember music they heard in utero. The average listener has literally hundreds of thousands of snippets of music in their musical memory and we know that those sounds, that musical imagination, survives through the hardest of traumas and the latest stages of degenerative neural disease. At the end of it all, we still have our musical imagination, for solace, for stimulation. 

Driven by a lifelong passion for music, Dr Victoria Williamson’s Garden Talk examines the meaning behind our musical imagination in terms of wellbeing and care. And who knows, once you understand what those pesky bi-products of that imagination represent, then maybe you will start to enjoy your earworms - some of them anyway!

Talk outline

Duration

50 minutes

What to expect

30 minute talk

20 minute Member Q&A

Dr Victoria Williamson

Dr Victoria Williamson is an independent scholar and consultant with a passion for understanding the psychology of music. She seeks to explain how music is processed by the brain and the ways in which music impacts on our minds, behaviours and wellbeing.

Music, Mind & Body Collection

Why does music have such an enormous impact on our minds and bodies? From its effect on our memories, to the science behind our favourite earworms and most heartfelt break-up songs, this series examines how music moves and changes us in unexpected ways.

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