There’s about a 10 year period in our teens and early 20s when we come of age musically. This is the time of life when you’re into music more than you’ll ever be. We use music to figure out who we are as people and we use music to project who we are to the world.
Researchers in the UK have discovered that the most important age of this period is 14. They pulled together nearly 500 people between the ages of 18 and 82 and played them songs that charted between 1950 and 2015. They discovered what they called the “reminiscence bump,” a time when music triggered strong feelings of nostalgia along with strong emotions and memories.
No matter who they looked at, this bump centered around music the subjects heard when they were 14. What’s more, is that the memories associated with those songs were much more accurate and vivid. No wonder we think the music of our youth is the greatest of all time.
You will never outgrow your 14-year-old musical self.
Check out yesterday’s post on the time the Ramones rejected a song Bruce Springsteen wrote for them. And don’t forget to check out my podcast The Ongoing History of New Music where you listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, Stitcher, or wherever you get your on-demand audio.