Looking for a word that means "musically-induced memory."
August 2, 2006 11:19 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a word that means "musically-induced memory."

For a friend: "I am interested in finding out the actual word, if there is one, that means/describes music-induced memory. Such as when you hear a certain song that you haven't heard in years, out of the blue, and suddenly you are transported back in time - remembering the scenery, smells, emotions, sunlight, everything - to some time that song was playing years before."

I have seen a reference on another ask.me page to "objective correlative" which pertains to emotions only (as per the definition) and not memory; I've seen "musical cue identification" and "auditory cue identification" which might be the end of this particular road.
posted by user92371 to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Music mnemonics.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:57 PM on August 2, 2006

Classical conditioning (Pavlovian conditioning)

Or, as Scientology calls it "the reactive mind". You should be careful, the museum guide told me that happy memories associated with music can kill you.
posted by bryak at 12:56 AM on August 3, 2006

What your friend describes goes by a variety of terms, e.g., "emotional recall," "sense memory," and "memory trigger." Proust termed this phenomenon involuntary memory, and it was famously prompted by a cookie dunked in tea.
posted by rob511 at 1:46 AM on August 3, 2006

Mozart Effect?
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 5:36 AM on August 3, 2006

posted by etc. at 8:10 AM on August 3, 2006

There's a great short story sort of about this called "Pitch Memory," by Ethan Canin.
posted by musemaker at 9:18 AM on August 3, 2006

Not exactly an answer, but an artistic application of this "music memory" is the Leitmotif, a musical theme in opera that recalls to the listener a previous moment in the drama.
posted by La Cieca at 11:30 AM on August 3, 2006

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