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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with musical memory, that is, how mental representations of music are formed by listeners. Before discussing general concepts of memory and listeners’ ability to remember various aspects of music, it first looks at some basic constructs used in the study of memory. It then considers four functional types of memory: echoic memory, short-term memory, long-term memory, and working memory. The chapter goes on to examine the relationship between music and memory, with particular reference to the roles of melody and rhythm, as well as between long-term memory and musical form. Two prominent theories of long-term musical representation are also described, namely, the generative theory of tonal music and the “cue abstraction” theory. Finally, questions about long-term musical memory representations are addressed.

Keywords: musical memory, mental representations, music, memory, long-term memory, melody, rhythm, musical form, generative theory of tonal music, cue abstraction theory

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