The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #139994   Message #3215488
Posted By: Artful Codger
30-Aug-11 - 06:01 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: How many tunes can be remembered?
Subject: RE: Folklore: How many tunes can be remembered?
Without being immodest, or even especially unusual, I must be able to sing or play tens of thousands of tunes. Consider all the tunes you really know: the pop songs, standards, carols, classical music, trad songs and dance tunes! Now, at any time, I can only sing maybe 300-500 songs end-to-end (that is, things I'd consider "repertoire"); as I learn new songs, the lyrics to others get shaky, just because I don't keep refreshing them in my memory by singing them, hearing them or glancing back over the lyrics. But I still remember major portions of them, and I remember their tunes right enough, as I remember countless other dance tunes and song tunes complete. If I systematically kept refreshing the lyrics of the shaky songs, I could easily expand my drop-of-a-hat song list to "thousands or more". Similarly, I might just be able to keep the names of dance tunes straight. I'm just not that disciplined. It floors me I can recall as much as I can on demand, since this has never been one of my strong suits. (Just watch me stammer searching for a word when I speak.)