Posts Tagged ‘The Eighties’

Classic hit songs and golden oldies from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s ‘speak the language of emotion’, say researchers

November 29, 2011

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Music is sometimes called ‘the language of emotion’ because it has an amazing power to influence people’s emotions and behaviour. It can affect and stimulate many different parts of the brain and body, and can reduce stress, aid relaxation, and alleviate depression.

In fact, scientists have found that a piece of music can become so closely associated with an event from a person’s life that hearing the music again evokes powerful memories of the original experience.

A recent study revealed that the memories triggered by music – such as classic hits and golden oldies from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s – tend to involve relationships with past or present lovers, or experiences with family and friends.

Most significantly, though, the study found a substantial bias towards music evoking memories of happy events that can cheer us up during these worrying economic times.

In 2008, researchers at the University of Leeds conducted a Magical Memory Tour during which they asked people to record their memories of the Beatles in an online survey. The study set out to use people’s autobiographical memories of Beatles songs, albums, movies, concerts, and news events to show how music — particularly the music of the most influential band of the rock ‘n’ roll era — can be used to retrieve memories that have been all but forgotten.

Most people who took part in the survey fell within the 55 to 65 age range, having been teenagers in the 1960s when the Fab Four were still together. The song that cued the most memories among middle-aged people was ‘She Loves You’, while ‘Love Me Do’ cued the most memories among the over-60s.

The researchers found that the memories evoked by the Beatles songs were surprisingly detailed and provided diverse snapshot images of long-forgotten times and places.

For one 57-year-old man, for example, ‘She Loves You’ triggered a memory of the weather on the first night he heard the song at the age of 11; another man remembered lying in the grass at age seven and playing with his toy soldiers as ‘Penny Lane’ played on the radio.

Another interesting finding of the study, say the researchers, was that most retrieved memories occurred during people’s early teenage years. The songs we hear when we’re growing up, it seems, shape the story of our lives.

One definition of ‘memory’ is that it is a mental system that receives, stores, organises and recovers information from sensory input. According to the Leeds University researchers, the results of their Magical Memory Tour study implied that music has a powerful influence on the storage and retrieval of long-term memories in particular.

As Oliver Sacks, the noted British neuroscientist and author, puts it: “Music brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”

How important are ‘oldies’ songs to you? Let us know what you think by voting in our Sh-Boom! Poll HERE…

Which artist do you find most uplifting? Leave a comment below and let us know…

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ZZ Top recording first new album for eight years

June 5, 2011

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ZZ Top are reportedly recording their first new album since Mescalero in 2003. Plans to record their 15th studio album in 2006 and again in 2008 failed to materialise, but guitarist Billy Gibbons insists the new album will be available “by the end of the year”.

   Gibbons has also confirmed that work has begun on a ZZ Top tribute album, with artists such as Foo Fighters and Nickelback performing the band’s classic hits.

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