Musical Fingerprints

Here is a link to a video of a very interesting lecture by Professor David Hargreaves entitled “Musical Fingerprints”:


Here is how the Warwick Knowledge Centre describes this lecture: “Do you have a song that can lift your mood? Or a song that reminds you of a certain event? Music has always been known for its power to alter our emotions and impact our memories, but why is this? Professor David Hargreaves, psychologist and keen musician, explains in his TEDxWarwick talk that developments in music psychology have begun to unlock the reasons and patterns behind our particular music tastes.”

. . .

Music psychology is moving towards the idea of ‘musical fingerprints’. There are three kinds of associations:

1. Musical networks – we perceive the world of music in different ways according to our particular interests and preferred genres.

2. Cultural networks – the way we react to music will depend on the situation we are in. The ‘musical fit’ concept shows that certain music fits certain situations. Music played during an aerobics class will be very different from that played in an antique furniture store. Rather than Britney Spears or Lady Gaga, the store owner will play Vivaldi or Bach.

3. Personal musical network – we all have a personal inner music library (PIML) which develops throughout our lifetime. We recognise new pieces of music according to our PIMLs.

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