Different Kinds of Music That Help Memory Retention


The effects of music on memory retention are quite powerful. Certain types of music are known to activate the left and right parts of the brain, which maximizes learning and aids in memory retention. Knowing which types of music to listen to while studying, learning or preparing for a test can help you improve your retention of the information and gain more success in test results.


  • Baroque music from the 17th and 18th centuries is known to increase memory retention. Some of the most popular composers from this era are Vivaldi, Bach and Handel. Baroque music can also increase attention levels, extend focused learning time and expand thinking skills. Baroque music with 60 beats per minute is the ideal tempo for memory retention.


  • Music by Mozart is known to release neurons in the brain that help relax the body. Studies have shown that students who listened to Mozart before taking a test had higher scores on tests. Three groups of students took an IQ test. Before the test, one group listened to Mozart, a second listened to a relaxation tape and a third didn't listen to anything. The group that didn't listen to anything had average scores of 110. The first group who listened to Mozart had average scores of 119. The group that listened to the relaxation tape fell in between, at 111.

Rock Music

  • Rock music is known to help with visual memory retention but not learning memory retention. Classical music is more harmonic while rock music is more rhythmic. Rhythmic music makes listeners more passionate, raising adrenaline, while harmonic music makes listeners more contemplative. Studies have shown that exposure to rock music causes learning and memory retention problems because the rhythm acts in the same way a drug does. However, the brain does create a strong association between rock music and what is happening visually when you hear the song. So, regardless of conditions, when you hear a rock music song, your brain will automatically associate it with the first time you heard it.

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  • Photo Credit music image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com
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