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The melody of a song, in some situations, can facilitate learning and recall. The experiments in this article demonstrate that text is better recalled when it is heard as a song rather than as speech, provided the music repeats so that it is easily learned. When Ss heard 3 verses of a text sung with the same melody, they had better recall than when the same text was spoken. However, the opposite occurred when Ss heard a single verse of a text sung or when Ss heard different melodies for each verse of a song; in these instances, Ss had better recall when the text was spoken. Furthermore, the experiments indicate that the melody contributes more than just rhythmic information. Music is a rich structure that chunks words and phrases, identifies line lengths, identifies stress patterns, and adds emphasis as well as focuses listeners on surface characteristics. The musical structure can assist in learning, in retrieving, and if necessary, in reconstructing a text.

Participants were scanned using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) while listening to two musical medleys, including pieces from various genres with and without lyrics. Regression models were built to predict voxel-wise brain activations which were then tested in a cross-validation setting in order to evaluate the robustness of the hence created models across stimuli. To further assess the generalizability of the models we extended the cross-validation procedure by including another dataset, which comprised continuous fMRI responses of musically trained participants to an Argentinean tango. Individual models for the two musical medleys revealed that activations in several areas in the brain belonging to the auditory, limbic, and motor regions could be predicted. Notably, activations in the medial orbitofrontal region and the anterior cingulate cortex, relevant for self-referential appraisal and aesthetic judgments, could be predicted successfully. Cross-validation across musical stimuli and participant pools helped identify a region of the right superior temporal gyrus, encompassing the planum polare and the Heschl's gyrus, as the core structure that processed complex acoustic features of musical pieces from various genres, with or without lyrics. Models based on purely instrumental music were able to predict activation in the bilateral auditory cortices, parietal, somatosensory, and left hemispheric primary and supplementary motor areas. The presence of lyrics on the other hand weakened the prediction of activations in the left superior temporal gyrus. Our results suggest spontaneous emotion-related processing during naturalistic listening to music and provide supportive evidence for the hemispheric specialization for categorical sounds with realistic stimuli. We herewith introduce a powerful means to predict brain responses to music, speech, or soundscapes across a large variety of contexts.

Language and music are human universals involving perceptually discrete elements organized in hierarchically structured sequences. The set of principles governing the combination of these structural elements into sequences is known as syntax. A violation of expectancies concerning syntactic regularities may be reflected by two ERP components: the ERAN (early right anterior negativity) and the ELAN (early left anterior negativity). The ERAN is evoked by a violation of musical regularities, whereas the ELAN is linked to syntax processing in the language domain. There is evidence from adult data to suggest that both ERAN and ELAN are, at least partly, generated in the same brain regions. 

This study examined the effectiveness of melodic-rhythmic mnemonics as an aid to short-term memory. Subjects included 30 learning disabled and 30 normal male students, ages 9.0 to 11.9 years. All subjects participated in two experiments conducted over a period of 3 days. Experiment 1 consisted of a pretest, a single rehearsal of the memory task, and a posttest to examine the effects of group membership (learning disabled or normal) and the effects of rehearsal mode (musical or verbal) on retention. Results from Experiment 1 indicated that both normal subject membership and verbal rehearsal resulted in significantly greater recall at the .05 level.

As stated on our home page, setbooksfree's method is brand-new, patent-pending technology. But that doesn't mean we haven't known for some time that music aides in recall. Vast research exists utilizing music to aide with alzheimers, learning a second language, overcoming dyslexia, remembering the names of states in the second grade...

Why has it taken so long to realize it can help us learn to read? I have no idea. The following are a few (very few) of the many professional research articles available for your preview that show how music affects how we learn. 

​From Vivaldi to Beatles and back: Predicting lateralized brain responses to music

Vinoo Alluri, Toiviainen, Lund, Wallentin, Vuust,Nandi, Ristaniemi & Brattico, 2013

Previous research has suggested that the use of song can facilitate recall of text. This study examined the effect of repetition of a melody across verses, familiarity with the melody, rhythm, and other structural processing hypotheses to explain this phenomenon.

Effects of Music on Memory for Text

Purnell-Webb & Speelman, 2008

Dyslexia and music: measuring musical timing skills

Overy, 2000 

Music and the Brain

O'Donnell, 1999

Temporal entrainment of cognitive functions: musical mnemonics induce brain plasticity and oscillatory synchrony in neural networks underlying memory.

Thaut, Peterson & McIntosh, 2005

Musical Mnemonics as an Aid to Retention With Normal and Learning Disabled Students.

​Gfeller, 1983


Music, Language and the Brain

Patel, 2010

In a series of experiments, we have begun to investigate the effect of music as a mnemonic device on learning and memory and the underlying plasticity of oscillatory neural networks. We used verbal learning and memory tests (standardized word lists, AVLT) in conjunction with electroencephalographic analysis to determine differences between verbal learning in either a spoken or musical (verbal materials as song lyrics) modality. In healthy adults, learning in both the spoken and music condition was associated with significant increases in oscillatory synchrony across all frequency bands. A significant difference between the spoken and music condition emerged in the cortical topography of the learning-related synchronization. When using EEG measures as predictors during learning for subsequent successful memory recall, significantly increased coherence (phase-locked synchronization) within and between oscillatory brain networks emerged for music in alpha and gamma bands. In a similar study with multiple sclerosis patients, superior learning and memory was shown in the music condition when controlled for word order recall, and subjects were instructed to sing back the word lists. Also, the music condition was associated with a significant power increase in the low-alpha band in bilateral frontal networks, indicating increased neuronal synchronization. Musical learning may access compensatory pathways for memory functions during compromised PFC functions associated with learning and recall. Music learning may also confer a neurophysiological advantage through the stronger synchronization of the neuronal cell assemblies underlying verbal learning and memory. Collectively our data provide evidence that melodic-rhythmic templates as temporal structures in music may drive internal rhythm formation in recurrent cortical networks involved in learning and memory.

Over the last few decades, a growing amount of research has suggested that dyslexics have particular difficulties with skills involving accurate or rapid timing, including musical timing skills. It has been hypothesised that music training may be able to remediate such timing difficulties, and have a positive effect on fundamental perceptual skills that are important in the development of language and literacy skills.

(paragraph 9)The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart's music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activate the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, causes the brain to be more capable of processing information. your paragraph here.


(paragraph 13) William Balach, Kelly Bowman, and Lauri Mohler, all from Pennsylvania State University, studied the effects of music genre and tempo on memory retention. They had four groups learn vocabulary words using one of four instrumental pieces - slow classical, slow jazz, fast classical, and fast jazz. Each of the four groups was divided into smaller groups for the recall test. These sub groups used either the same (i.e. slow classical, slow classical) or different (i.e. slow jazz, fast classical) pieces when taking the recall test. The results did show a dependency on the music. Recall was better when the music was the same during learning and testing.

Investigating the relationship of music and language in children: influences of musical training and language impairment.

Jentschke, Koelsch & Friederici, 2005


In the first comprehensive study of the relationship between music and language from the
standpoint of cognitive neuroscience, Aniruddh D. Patel challenges the widespread belief
that music and language are processed independently.

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Memory for music: Effect of melody on recall of text.

Wallace, 1994