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Many thanks for your thought-provoking article. I've been wonder about your points for the four decades of my adult life. During my childhood I was formally trained to be a musician, but I never pursued musicianship as a career because I wholly detested the dire lack of jazz music in my tuition.
Jazz literally means miscellaneous (as any listener to Gil Scott-Heron will have been more than adequately instructed!), but jazz is all about creative improvisation that defies documentation on musical score sheets. Modern jazz is all about its indefinable ability to cause involuntary body movements, especially in the head, hands and feet, and inducing feelings of deep pleasure. Caveat: most, but not all, have innate jazz rhythm buds hardwired into their brain :-)
Answering your question "Does Music Help Memory?" is impossible because it depends on so many independent variables. E.g. an untrained musician who is also an inexperienced listener may gain much learning memory benefit from listening to MP3 encoded music played through low-end equipment whereas a trained musician and/or experienced listener would find this both highly distracting and irritating, irrespective of the type of music. Compare muzak versus music: muzak is commonly used in supermarkets because evidence shows that it increases sales. However, very few supermarkets bother to (or know how to) adjust the volume level just right for maximizing their sales potential from their (paid-for) muzak delivery system.
Definitions make all the difference.
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