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Outdoors: Gameplay

Coggin hears videogame music and wonders - will it store itself in young minds?

Music we hear as kids sticks in our heads!

I am intrigued by the Keith Brown's GamePlay program. Having never played video games, I didn't even know computer game compositions were a thing, but to my amazement, I really enjoy them.

Back when I took a class in world music, the professor was convinced that we should love American folk music because that was the music heard during early childhood. She believed people gravitate to the music they heard in their homes when they when they were very young.

She had a point. But, I grew up in a household in which classical music was played. So I'll take a symphony over “Old Suzanna” any day. And I know my friends of different backgrounds and cultures gravitate to the styles of music their parents listened to in the home.

With most songbirds, nestlings listen to their fathers or nearby males. This still is being studied, but it appears that while still in the nest, baby birds memorize the characteristic song of their species---and sort of like taking melodic dictation---and they store a template of the song in their young brains.

As male birds mature, they chirp and twerp...sort of the way human babies babble...but they practice and practice, phrase at a time, until finally, they are able to reproduce an exact rendition of the species song stored in their brains.

In response, the females will be attracted to the males that sing songs which most closely replicate those their fathers sang while they were still in the nest.

Knowing that, I have to wonder---will the young people growing up listening to the stunning music from video games gravitate to orchestral music as adults? Will musical tastes change? It will be interesting to find out.

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"Outdoors with Coggin Heeringa" can be heard every Wednesday on Classical IPR.