Imagine your favourite song. Can you hear it playing?

DiscussionsCategory: QuestionsImagine your favourite song. Can you hear it playing?
Jennifer McDougallJennifer McDougall Staff asked 2 weeks ago

It’s been hypothesized that aphantasia impacts all sensory imagery, including auditory imagery. When you imagine your favourite song or the tune to “happy birthday,” can you hear it playing in your mind?

How clear is your mind’s ear? Tell us more about your experience.

Leonie SargeantLeonie Sargeant replied 2 weeks ago

I can usually remember the lyrics in a narrative way, and if I have listened to the song very recently I can kind of recall the tune but I can’t hear it in my mind.

Nicole HeyesNicole Heyes replied 1 day ago

I “hear” the music and/or the lyrics the same way I “hear” my thoughts. I can tell the difference between loud and soft or high and low notes, etc but there’s no actual “sound” sensation in my brain. I “hear” people’s voices and their way of speaking (tone, accent, degree of sarcasm. Lol) the same way I “see” the horse or remember feeling angry. I conceptualise.

Jennifer McDougallJennifer McDougall Staff replied 1 day ago

What great ways to describe the experience. It can often be difficult to put words to our inner world, and you both provided some valuable insight into what this world looks like that can help us all better understand the experience of living with aphantasia. Thanks for sharing!

4 Answers
Space AnarchistSpace Anarchist answered 23 hours ago

I get vague impressions of sound, but it is not the same as actual sound. I think one important criterion is non-linearity. That is, I can get an overall, nonlinear impression of a piece of music, but it does not proceed in a linear fashion through time. I can subvocally hum a tune and recite the words, but it does not happen automatically.

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