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I listened to some music I discovered about a year ago yesterday and interestingly I immediately felt like back then. It's like the first time I listened to it but also like the general period of time back then (when I had an earworm of that song probably).
So that got me thinking: Can music and other pieces of art help to preserve some memories for longer periods of time than I might think? Probably, but instead of certain language or situations and images of that time, the "memory" is much harder to verbalise. It seems like its not really a memory but rather a feeling and a mental state of that time.
That makes me look at my playlists much different now, they are a collection, an archive, of previous feelings I can experience again by listening to them. Really cool. But not too often in a row because then they sort of "wear out" and don't feel as "pure" as back then. So I always have to wait a bit inbetween.
At the same time, music itself makes feelings, so its a situation where what I'm feeling is both influenced by the time when I listened to that music and the music itself. So what I'm actually feeling then is not purely the time back then, but more like the feeling the music added and the impact it had on me with the already existing feeling back then.
The music adds another flavor to the feeling.
Still, a very cool experience.
This is most true of my sad playlists. It isn't as effective for recalling happy memories unfortunately, maybe that's a me problem.
Oddly, the same can happen with smells!
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