PhD Griffith University 2014 Pages: 280

Musically Motivated Autobiographical Memories and the Lifetime Soundtrack

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Creating and reflecting upon autobiographical memory is an everyday practice that is typical within the human experience. When music becomes integrated into personal memories, an invitation to remember is provided through both purposeful listening activities and incidental engagement with music in the everyday. Connections between memory and music are reinforced over time, such that salient music becomes a part of who we are: a component of self-identity. This thesis investigates musically motivated autobiographical memories in order to provide further understanding of their occurrence, content, and function. The thesis also examines the role that emotion may play in the processes of memory creation and reminiscence. In a qualitative approach to a topic that has been neglected in both psychological and sociological studies of memory, this research prioritises the subjective experience of the individual as the key to understanding the interaction between music and memory in everyday life. This study brings together psychological insights and sociological theory for an interdisciplinary discussion of music, emotion and autobiographical memory, producing an innovative and original discourse.

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