Music and Memories

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Is there music that triggers instant memories for you that have nothing to do with the music itself?

Here's what I mean: When I bought my first house, I removed the yucky, old, wall-to-wall carpet to the accompaniment of Mahler's Second. Ever since, as sublime as Mahler's Second is, whenever I hear it, I think of mint green carpeting.

And then there's Beethoven's Leonore Overture No.3. We had to analyze it for music theory class in college, and make a chart of everything going on in the piece.  As I tried to figure out how to break the chart into page-sized pieces, I spotted a huge, white, corrugated cardboard cloud I'd dragged home the week before--a souvenir of our college orchestra's concert performance of Das Rheingold.

I proceeded to pull the only all-nighter of my college career on the floor, charting the entire Leonore Overture No.3 on the back of that cloud. The closer it got to dawn, the loopier I got, adding little notes in the margin like a cherub with a balloon coming out of its mouth, saying, "If this were Beethoven's Ninth, this would be Cloud Nine!" Of course, my poor professor had to spread the thing out on the floor to grade it, so the cloud came back to me with comments like "Ouch! My knees hurt!" I don’t know about her, but I still can't hear the Leonore Overture No.3 without smiling about the cloud.