It's happened to all of us: a song comes on the radio, and we are immediately transported to a time in our past. But what is it that makes music so effective at doing this?
There are a few things that link tunes with our memories. Paul Donoghue, writing for ABC News, reminds us that the emotional nature of music helps make it particularly memorable.
有一些东西将音乐与我们的记忆联系起来。为 ABC 新闻撰稿的保罗·多诺霍提醒我们，音乐的情感本质使它特别令人难忘。
And Kelly Jakubowski, an assistant professor in music psychology, adds that music and singing are often part of many important life events and rituals, and that it is also very effective in grabbing our attention. These things combined mean that music and these life events are likely to be encoded together in our memories.
Music itself is easy to remember. Tiffany Jenkins, writing for BBC Culture, tells us how throughout history oral cultures have passed important knowledge from generation to generation through song.
音乐本身很容易被人记住。蒂芙尼·詹金斯为 BBC 文化板块撰稿，她告诉我们历史上的口述文化是如何通过歌曲将重要知识代代相传的。
The rhythm, rhyme, melody and alliteration in lyrics all serve as memory aids. She goes on to say that pop music especially can be associated with a particular moment in time.
As Shahram Heshmat, writing in Psychology Today highlights, we often become familiar with a piece of music because we hear it as background music.
Familiarity is important. Jakubowski, tells us that the more familiar a piece of music is, the more effective it is at bringing back memories.
This applies to music more than other cultural products because we are far more likely to hear a song over and over again than watch a film or a TV programme in the same way.
Heshmat points out that our musical preferences usually form during our teens, and this corresponds with what many experts call the 'reminiscence bump', where we make our strongest memories between the ages of 10 and 30.
It's clear that our memories and music are closely linked – to the point that music is being used to help dementia sufferers access memories that they thought they had lost.