The Lifetime Soundtrack - Music and Autobiographical Memory - Lauren Istvandity

The Lifetime Soundtrack - Music and Autobiographical Memory - Lauren Istvandity

Emotion, Feeling and Musical Memories

The Lifetime Soundtrack - Music and Autobiographical Memory - Lauren Istvandity

Lauren Istvandity [+-]
University of the Sunshine Coast
Dr Lauren Istvandity is a Lecturer in the School of Creative Industries, University of the Sunshine Coast. Her research interests spans popular music, memory, critical heritage studies, and ethnography. Her most recent work looks to the heritage of jazz music in Queensland, where she collects memory narratives and ephemera for archival preservation. She is the co-editor of Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage (Routledge 2018).


This chapter examines the way in which emotion, and by extension, affect, is embedded within and activated by musically motivated memories. It argues that while strong emotion is often associated with musical memories, the affect that is produced by listening to personally salient music is somewhat more useful in explaining the triangulation between music, memory and feeling. The presence of both positive and negative emotions is integrated throughout the chapter, including a critical examination of the concept of nostalgia for its role in reflection upon musical memories, and its application in present contexts. Participant narratives are used to demonstrate the complexity behind emotional memories, including unexpected physical and mental reactions to music. Therein, both commonplace and novel scenarios for the inception of emotional memories including romantic relationships, bereavement and loss, and lifetime milestones are unpacked. The chapter also raises questions about the purposeful use of music to provoke emotion, and the intention behind the creation of literal soundtracks for special events.

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Istvandity, Lauren. Emotion, Feeling and Musical Memories. The Lifetime Soundtrack - Music and Autobiographical Memory. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 53-76 Sep 2019. ISBN 9781781796290. Date accessed: 21 Jul 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.33120. Sep 2019

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