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4 Types of memory used to learn a musical piece by heart

The ability to memorize is greatly improved when learning music. Firstly, memorizing a piece of music should be part of the process, especially when performing in front of an audience. Nobody expects to see the members of the classical orchestra playing without a score, however, it is common to see the soloist, the jazz or rock musician, the singer, playing or singing from memory.

By practicing memorization, we work 4 types of memories; kinesthetic memory, auditory memory, semantic memory, visual memory

Kinesthetic memory is physical memory. It relies on the habit of movement. Although the most commonly used, it is also the weakest. It is not very reliable if the elements of the environment change.

Auditory memory is also common and can be used well if all the notes are played without mistakes. It will not be very reliable if the piece is not very solid and still lacks practice. If the musician can develop the ability to hear the music even before playing it, this type of memory can work well.

Semantic memory allows us to use our knowledge of the elements either through the use of language or the explanation of what is happening in the music. Although more difficult to acquire, it is also the most reliable memory to use.

Visual memory allows you to see the musical score in your head, to see the dynamics, the changes in tempo, the direction of the notes, etc. It is not given to all but can be developed over time.

Learning to use the most memory types possible all at once when learning to play from memory will be the most efficient and the most reliable. Learning to memorize is an acquired skill and can be improved with practice, just like so many musical elements of playing.


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