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Monday, 30 July 2012

The Music-Butterfly Effect

So there I am in this sweltering heat in the auto, thinking about Madagascar 3 that I had just watched ( which by the by was wicked!!) and I hear Celine Dion's Titanic OST in my ears. My first reaction is, hmmmm that song wasn't in the movie so why is it my head? Lo and behold it is playing in the car stopped next to my auto at the intersection. Without any second thought my brain rushes to when the same song was playing in Titanic and poor, painfully blonde cute Leonardo is trying to save Rose by drowning his own purty self and how upset that made me! I mean seriously! Aren't actors that cute meant to be alive till the end credits roll?
Another funny thing is how in the new Madagascar movie the 
'circus tune' (
was playing throughout, leading my train of thought to the fact how I always have that tune in my head, when I do infact tune out! All Homer Simpsons fault to be honest, though the darling circus trick that plays in his head when he “tunes out” on this tune is adorable.

It is no coincidence that we are capable of associating certain tunes to events. Two approaches can be taken to this. Lets start with my favourite- Psychology. The different shades of grey matter up there in our noggin has the entire Freudian concept of conscious and the subconscious whereby certain memories are stored and at times tunes act as a trigger, bringing back those events, helping us remember the aforementioned events in our vast mental repository, to the present and for one split second there I am as a teenager, gawking at the screen, Celine Dion screeching at the back, watching Leonardo's very blonde bangs, drowning. What a pity! 

 The second approach is the more physical science one. Neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote in his book-Musicophilia that earworms are a clear sign of "the overwhelming, and at times, helpless, sensitivity of our brains to music". Which is why recent studies show that playing classical music to a foetus would help incline the child towards being more creative and cultured as he would grow up to remember and associate that music to creativity.
Methinks that we never stop playing the word association game all through our transition from childhood to adulthood. There will always be some scent, or some clip of a song which will remind us of that someone who dedicated that adorably cheesy song to us that one time or some event that we have tagged as a good or an unfortunate one in the vast recesses of our psyche. I was shocked to see my muscles twitch to the Soca tune my Caribbean instructor played when I was going for Soca Aerobics class. It is not just a mental reaction, but the whole being reacts. Involuntary smile I believe is the most personal, a certain warmth of finding an old friend, partially tangible.How many of us actually (and I bet they do) remember all group Abba singing sessions. I remember most of them, and I think they are still many more to come.

Interesting how these tune-association unique ability we have, that allows for interesting conversation starters like-'this one time.......'
This discussion I believe would naturally lead to aroma associations....

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