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Turns Out Your Kids Really Did Love That Music You Played
NPR ^ | September 06, 2013 | Nancy Shute

Posted on 09/06/2013 2:28:33 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Way back in the 1980s, were you the one playing "When Doves Cry" over and over? Well, don't be surprised if your kids wind up doing the same thing.

Young adults have strong positive memories of the music their parents loved when they were the same age, a study finds. That flies in the face of the cultural stereotype that children reject their parents' taste in music.

Participants in a study on musical memory didn't just say they remembered and loved the music that was popular in the early '80s, when their parents were young. They also loved the music of the '60s, which their grandparents may have been blasting while changing Mom's diapers. And the 20-year-olds of today liked the older songs as much as the new stuff they listen to with peers.

For real? "They would hear this music and say, 'Oh yeah, that's my parents' music,' with obvious fondness," says Carol Lynne Krumhansl, the psychology professor at Cornell University who led the study. The study was published online in the journal Psychological Science.

The scientists had been testing musical memory in an earlier study, and were surprised to find that college-age participants could identify older pop and rock songs just as quickly as the new stuff. Even more surprising, they liked the older stuff more. So the researchers decided to try to nail down what was happening, using clips from hits off Billboard lists from 1955 to 2009.

Top hits 1980-1984 from the study: can you name them? Playlist Transcript More than 60 student volunteers (average age 20) listened to short clips of the top two pop and rock songs for each year. The researchers quizzed them on which songs they recognized, how much they liked them and their emotional responses. They were also asked if they had memories associated with the songs and if those memories were from listening with parents, alone, or with others.

Earlier research has found that the music heard in late adolescence and early adulthood has the most impact and staying power through a person's life. So the researchers figured that today's 20-year-olds would be all about Rihanna and the Black Eyed Peas. Not so.

"We didn't have any idea" that young adults had strong personal memories of the music of the early 1980s, Krumhansl told Shots. She and her colleague, Justin Adam Zupnick of the University of California, Santa Cruz, were even more surprised to see the second "reminiscence bump" in emotion and memory for top hits from 1965 to 1969.

Young people have strong memories of music they heard growing up, especially the stuff their parents listened to when they were 20. Young people have strong memories of music they heard growing up, especially the stuff their parents listened to when they were 20.

Carol Lynne Krumhansl The connection to parents' music isn't entirely surprising. Music plays a central role in child rearing, both in the songs children are taught at home and in school and in those heard more informally as part of the home environment. The songs parents choose to listen to reflect their taste, their values, their era.

Music is a powerful cue for retrieving strong personal memories — when you kissed that girl at summer camp; the blue polka-dot dress you wore to prom; how lonely you were freshman year.

And the human brain remembers music with extraordinary detail, unlike spoken words, in which people remember just the gist. After hearing less than a second of a song, people can "come up with the title and the artist," Krumhansl says. "They know the emotional content. They know the style."

The 1960s music may evoke strong memories in 20-somethings because of the quality, Krumhansl speculates. We are talking about The Beatles here. But the top pop songs of that era used in the study also included "The Ballad of the Green Berets," "To Sir with Love" and "Sugar Sugar," so maybe it's not just that.

Krumhansl thought the students might have memories of 60s music because it lives on as classic rock. But it turned out their memories came not from current listening, but from hearing it when they were younger.

Technology may also be a factor. The introduction of cassette tapes in the 1960s made music more ubiquitous, and the same tapes were played long after that decade ended. (Props to you parents still hanging on to those mixtapes.)

Next, Krumhansl wants to find out if other generations have the same experiences with emotional memory and music, and try to trace influences back through multiple generations. She's launching a Web-based survey that covers 100 years of pop hits, and welcomes public participation; check it out here.

And maybe play "Bette Davis Eyes" (No. 1 hit, 1981) while you do.


TOPICS: History; Hobbies; Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: memories; music; parents; psychology
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1 posted on 09/06/2013 2:28:34 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Ohhhh really, I’ve known this for years without any study.

Perhaps “known” isn’t the right phrase, “strongly suspected” might be better.


2 posted on 09/06/2013 2:29:53 PM PDT by FreedomStar3028
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To: nickcarraway

My children will never like “Ride of the Valkyries” regardless of the number of times I play it...


3 posted on 09/06/2013 2:30:44 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools)
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To: nickcarraway

It’s because today the music sucks.


4 posted on 09/06/2013 2:30:52 PM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: ViLaLuz

“It’s because today the music sucks.”

Ain’t that the truth.


5 posted on 09/06/2013 2:32:21 PM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company after the election, & laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: gov_bean_ counter
Did you ever take them to see Blues Brothers?
6 posted on 09/06/2013 2:32:35 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

No, but I’m sure they have seen it on TV. Actually my 29 year old son likes a lot of the music from my college days. (middle to late 70s)


7 posted on 09/06/2013 2:34:00 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools)
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To: nickcarraway
I remember my folks listening to “When the Lights Come on Again” and getting teary eyed when I was a kid. I still love it.
8 posted on 09/06/2013 2:34:28 PM PDT by CrazyIvan (Obama phones= Bread and circuits.)
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To: nickcarraway

“When Doves Cry” made me cry...and my ears bleed! Surely the author could have come up with a better song to represent the ‘80s.


9 posted on 09/06/2013 2:34:51 PM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Democrats: Robbing Peter to buy Paul's vote.)
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To: nickcarraway

Get them started on “Bombshell” by Powerman 5000.


10 posted on 09/06/2013 2:36:06 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: nickcarraway

Topping the chart the month I was born.

Its been the ruin of many a poor boy and God, I know I’m one

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ptqd_the-house-of-the-rising-sun-1964_music?start=1


11 posted on 09/06/2013 2:36:34 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Cowboy Bob

“Jump” the anthem of the eighties!


12 posted on 09/06/2013 2:36:43 PM PDT by Sybeck1
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To: nickcarraway

I think part of this has to do with how your parents dealt with their music.

My parents grew up in the 30s and 40s, with the Dorsey brothers, Glenn Miller and those sorts of groups, and imparted much of their love of this to my brother and I. To this day, I still enjoy swing and some of its more modern derivatives. Most of today’s “music” makes me wanna vomit, though some country tunes are almost passable.

My in-laws, on the other hand, were not as much “into” the music of that era. As a result, my wife, her sister and the rest of their family, tend to “like” the music of the current period, as cRAPpy as it has become.


13 posted on 09/06/2013 2:38:02 PM PDT by ssaftler (Oh, hell YEAH!!!! This is absolutely Obama's fault)
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To: Sybeck1
There was one Jump by the Pointer Sisters and one by Van Halen. And probably others.
14 posted on 09/06/2013 2:39:47 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Young kids saying ‘your old music sucks’ is equal to older people saying that ‘ today’s music sucks.’ There is good and bad in both. Period.


15 posted on 09/06/2013 2:40:35 PM PDT by deadrock (I am someone else.)
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To: nickcarraway

LOL. I don’t think so. When I was a little kid, my dad used to get loaded and play Finnegan’s Wake by the Clancy Brothers over and over again. I don’t think I’ll ever listen to it again.


16 posted on 09/06/2013 2:41:26 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: nickcarraway

I credit Shrek with getting my kids interested. I can’t believe that my husband and I can start singing a song that fits in with a conversation and my kids join in. lol.

My boys especially like Boston but they play trumpet and trombone and kinda like swing and big band too. I think they just like musicality. It’s so funny to hear their playlist go from Boston to Pachelbel’s Canon. lol


17 posted on 09/06/2013 2:42:23 PM PDT by butterdezillion (,)
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To: deadrock

My kids are going to see the Eagles with me in Tampa in November. Willingly. 14 year old son and 13 year old daughter.
They dig Hotel California, Heartache Tonight, Take it Easy, etc......


18 posted on 09/06/2013 2:43:19 PM PDT by roostercogburn
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To: nickcarraway

Got a daughter, 17, who just discovered Led Zeppelin. I thought they were overplayed in MY day!


19 posted on 09/06/2013 2:46:26 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: roostercogburn

Don Henley is a burned-out socialist Obamite. Just so you know ...


20 posted on 09/06/2013 2:48:33 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: nickcarraway

Can’t really say my parents’ musical interests (which were fairly minimal, actually) ever influenced me... even though my own tastes did veer towards ‘vintage’ very early on.

Starting when I was only five years old, I had a little phonograph. Neighborhood garage-sales is where my library of 45’s and 78’s came from. Never really got anything too contemporary. The few times I bought a “new” record at the dime-store, I always HATED it. Managed to get examples from just about every musical genre, from those garage-sales. Ultimately, by the time I first entered my teen years, my tastes were pretty solidified on vintage jazz and dance-bands. Neither of which were particularly popular with my parents.


21 posted on 09/06/2013 2:48:36 PM PDT by greene66
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To: nickcarraway
I never appreciated it as a teenager but the music of my childhood evokes memories of better days and even then we were in the middle of the Vietnam war. Lots of Bob Dylan in my memories.

Bob Dylan Lay Lady Lay

A Whiter Shade Of Pale - Procol Harum
22 posted on 09/06/2013 2:48:44 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: nickcarraway
The music of the 80’s was unique in that it all was made to be danced to. It is still the music I usually hear played at weddings.
23 posted on 09/06/2013 2:49:35 PM PDT by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: IronJack

Really could care less about his politics.
I just sit back and enjoy the the tunes.


24 posted on 09/06/2013 2:49:53 PM PDT by roostercogburn
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To: nickcarraway

Since my folks diod not have rock n roll, that was not true of us or may others in the boomer times.

Who the heck wanted to get down with Lawrence Welk, Mitch Miller or the Andrews sisters.

Yes there was a 40’s revival in the early 70’s that was mildly amusing but pfft...no way. My tastes are no where near what my folks swung to,,,and yes they did jitterbugging standards of the 40’s and pre rock 50’s.


25 posted on 09/06/2013 2:51:46 PM PDT by Adder (No, Mr. Franklin, we could NOT keep it.)
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To: cripplecreek

Hence your Freeper handles based on a song by his backing band?


26 posted on 09/06/2013 2:51:59 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Maybe ... if it actually was pop music with some kind of beat ...

The "easy listening" stuff on the "beautiful music" station with all the violins ... not so much ...

27 posted on 09/06/2013 2:53:10 PM PDT by x
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To: IronJack
Got a daughter, 17, who just discovered Led Zeppelin. I thought they were overplayed in MY day!


28 posted on 09/06/2013 2:53:24 PM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: nickcarraway

Actually no, my Freeper handle was a spur of the moment set of words I put together without a thought of the song.


29 posted on 09/06/2013 2:53:46 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: nickcarraway
And maybe play "Bette Davis Eyes" (No. 1 hit, 1981) while you do.

The AM 'top hits' station here in San Diego (The Mighty 690) played that song 2 times an hour for most of 1981. It makes me homicidal.

30 posted on 09/06/2013 2:56:58 PM PDT by Half Vast Conspiracy (Being late is a power play for those with no other power.)
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To: IronJack
My daughters too...
31 posted on 09/06/2013 2:57:27 PM PDT by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS... We are DOOMED for several generations. . Who cares? The Dems care!)
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To: cripplecreek

Your handle always makes me think of the early, turn-of-the-century Edison film “Cripple Creek Bar Room.”


32 posted on 09/06/2013 2:58:01 PM PDT by greene66
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To: nickcarraway

My parents were foreign born, older than most in the sixties, and never listened to popular music. “It sounds like monkeys bashing trashcan lids.” I was shocked when I got in my friend’s car, and his mom was listening to Top 40. It rocked my world. I thought she was beyond cool.


33 posted on 09/06/2013 3:00:07 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: greene66

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EisXJSsULGM


34 posted on 09/06/2013 3:00:44 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

“Kill the Wabbit, KILL THE WABBIT!”


35 posted on 09/06/2013 3:03:20 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Note to the NSA: I approved this dissention. What are you going to do about it Punks?)
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To: roostercogburn

—— They dig Hotel California -——

I consider HC a top 10 all-timer, but I also like “Boys of Summer.”

I asked my two teenage daughters which song they liked better. One rated it a toss-up. The other gave the edge to BOS.


36 posted on 09/06/2013 3:04:32 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: IronJack

LOL, I still overplay it to this day! Did you get or see their last release of the benefit concert they did in London about five year ago with Jason Bohnam on drums?

It’s awesome.


37 posted on 09/06/2013 3:05:38 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Note to the NSA: I approved this dissention. What are you going to do about it Punks?)
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To: nickcarraway

As a member of a working classic rock band I can attest to the fact that music from the 60s 70s an 80s appeals to all ages. It’s amazing when you see 70 year olds sharing the same dance floor as 20 somethings and all ages in between.

It’s really cool that the music seems kind of one size fits all and ageless. I guess classic rock really belongs to everyone.


38 posted on 09/06/2013 3:07:19 PM PDT by Bullish (Psalm 46)
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To: Disambiguator

Bless them! (Although I might make an exception for “Sweet Child.” I LOVE that riff!)


39 posted on 09/06/2013 3:07:37 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: nickcarraway
Music from the 50's and 60's will live on forever........

I can't imagine adults 30 and 40 years from now listening to today's crap..........

40 posted on 09/06/2013 3:10:29 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (')
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To: Fledermaus
Here's one from my youth that doesn't get much airplay these days.

Ram Jam - Black Betty
41 posted on 09/06/2013 3:10:49 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

Loved it.


42 posted on 09/06/2013 3:11:58 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Note to the NSA: I approved this dissention. What are you going to do about it Punks?)
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To: Fledermaus

We sang Black Betty as a kid.


43 posted on 09/06/2013 3:13:03 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: nickcarraway

One of my students used to mock me about my love for Pavement. Now that’s all he listens to.


44 posted on 09/06/2013 3:15:06 PM PDT by struggle
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To: ViLaLuz
My sons got to YMCA camp and come back with some pretty decent music. Try "Daylight" by Maroon 5; "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons; "Wave Your Flag" by Aviici;

I used to think like you but there are some decent musicians out there.

They have been listening to The Who, Styx, Billy Joel, Marshal Tucker, Fleetwood Mac, America, The Call, the musicals "OLiver", "Oklahoma", "Singin' in the Rain" and a whole bunch of other eclectic stuff. It's fun watching them sing in the back seat of the car.

45 posted on 09/06/2013 3:15:26 PM PDT by raybbr (I weep over my sons' future in this Godforsaken country.)
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To: Hot Tabasco
I still love a lot of more modern music. One of my favorites from the mid 90s.

Primus - Wynona's Big Brown Beaver
46 posted on 09/06/2013 3:17:05 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: nickcarraway

My Mom would lock me in the playpen in the living room. I’d start screaming “Usmic! Usmic!” It was the third word I’d “learned” after “Mama” and “Daddy.” She’d put a stack of Piano Boogie Woogie on the record player, and I’d shut up until the stack needed to be turned over, over, and over. And they could never figure out why I became a musician! As a guitarist, people ask me who my favorite musician is, and when I tell them “Albert Ammons” they get very confused! I have a large collection of Piano Boogie Woogie 78s, but if I play them in the evening, I can’t sleep that night, cuz I’m rockin’ out. “Usmic! Usmic!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIVJw8yX6GY

Oh oh! I shouldn’t have listened to that. I’ll need a sleeping pill tonight!


47 posted on 09/06/2013 3:18:29 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: FreedomStar3028

I hated the music my parents liked. It was awful elevator type music.

My kids love the music that I listened to. Of course, I liked upbeat rock-n-roll.


48 posted on 09/06/2013 3:18:36 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: gov_bean_ counter

One of my daughters does. She loves classical!


49 posted on 09/06/2013 3:19:15 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

My son can jam the power chords in Dirty Laundry on the guitar....
Greatest song by any Eagle during their solo careers. Still spot on 30 years later.


50 posted on 09/06/2013 3:19:38 PM PDT by roostercogburn
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