[Harp-L] Memorising Tunes

Aongus Mac Cana amaccana@xxxxx
Wed Oct 19 16:56:35 EDT 2016

Hi Rick,

I am taken by the technique you recommend for memorising tunes, because it
is very reminiscent of the method used by orators in ancient Rome to make
lengthy speeches without notes. Nowadays when people are pontificating and
using the language "in the first place" and  "in the second place" they
rarely realise that this form of speech reflects the way that senators in
Rome used to 'do their thing'. I doubt if any of them use what is called the
locus method as constructively or effectively as the Roman orators did.

For anyone  who does not know it already, what the orators did was to
visualise different places in their home and memorise them in sequence. This
trick still works. I know because I have used it. If you want to try it  you
can take the garden gate as the first place, the entrance door to your house
as the second place, the hall as the third place, on top of the TV as the
fourth place - or whatever turns you on. When you have memorised your list
of places or "loci" you now visualise them and tie the various topics you
want to cover in your speech to them in the most ridiculous or even
salacious images that come into your mind. Imagine each point you want to
address in the appropriate location in your house as you imagine yourself
walking through it.

I learned a similar method called "memory pegs" at a "pull yourself up by
your bootstraps" type self improvement course thirty years ago. I sometimes
amuse myself by committing a shopping list of up to thirty items  to memory
for a few minutes before going to the supermarket. 

I never thought of using this idea for learning a tune. I must try it.



More information about the Harp-L mailing list