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Why melodies are so easy to remember

    People store thousands of melodies in their memory over the course of their lives, and these memories are amazingly precise and can be recalled within milliseconds. They are also among the last memories that even Alzheimer’s sufferers usually still possess. Rhythm is processed by a different region of the brain than melody or timbre, so melodies are fairly immune to failure due to this distributed structure in the brain, even when brain power declines. In addition, there is the link between auditory impression and emotion, because hardly any musical memory is emotionally neutral, so that when you hear a melody, the emotional centre in the brain is always addressed as well, and all the more so the more intense the feelings were that you felt when you first heard it. There is a phase of life in which this connection is most intense, from puberty to young adulthood. In the case of active musicians, there is also the fact that they can not only remember the sequences of notes they play, but they can also analyse the music abstractly through the harmonies, the key and the rhythm. In this way, their body can also remember the sequence of movements of their muscles when playing a piece of music and thus additionally use body memory.