Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Hannah Owens 

BA [Hons] Creative Music Production

Hello! My name is Hannah Owens. I am based in Wicklow. I started playing piano at 9, and as the years went on, more instruments were added. By 15, my goal was to hear what all my instruments sounded like together, recorded. From there, my fascination with music production sparked. I was accepted into my first choice, Creative Music Production, at IADT. This course has supported my learning and skill development in music composition, recording, mixing/mastering. My future plans are to continue composing and producing but also to focus on music and psychology, merging the two together.

Project Description

The aim of this research was to explore whether compositional musical techniques in a constructed song with text facilitated committing and retaining information to memory. This was a unique new approach to understanding how to compose memorable music while exploring where and how the brain processes music and how music affects memory.
The compositions were tested in a memory survey, exploring and comparing the effects of the memorability of information with and without music.
The research findings suggest that a song may contribute to the memorability and retention of information and also identify the type song and level of its complexity that seems most likely to achieve this.

Does Music Increase The Memorability Of Information?

The main objective of the thesis was to explore if music increases the memorability of information. This was achieved with extensive research in the relevant fields such as musical techniques, optimal song duration, how background music affects the memory of text, the brain processing music, music and memory, rhyme and memory, memory capacity and attention span with regards to age. Expert interviews were conducted to supplement the literature review. From these research sources and interviews, two versions of one song were recorded, mixed, and mastered.
Following the compositions, memory surveys were conducted with 72 participants, consisting of three questionnaires: A (text only), B (simple song) and C (complex song). Analysis of the results suggested that information was better remembered when combined with a simple song, in that the simple version of the song had the highest percentage of correct memory test answers.
The research found that information accompanied by simple and repetitive music appeared to help participants remember the information more accurately.
The findings also highlighted opportunities for future research, such as: the effects on long term memory, the impact of memory capacity, attention span and specific musical training.