Classic FM Radio have just offered me the opportunity to win £250 if I do their on-line survey of classical music. Seems a good idea, and I've a few minutes before it is time to take the cat to the vet, so here goes.
So, I listened to thirty samples of music, and clicked the appropriate response; choosing from
"don't know this, love it, like it, don't care either way, hate it, bored with it" or something similar.
I was taken aback to realise how quickly I could identify most of the samples. Literally, just a few seconds and "oh, it's that". It would have taken me a further few seconds to dredge out the actual name of the work and the composer for some of them, but I would guess that there were only a couple of "don't knows", and in those cases I knew roughly when they might have been written and could have suggested a likely composer.
I'd love to "know" poetry and drama and Shakespeare like that, but I just don't remember words in the same way. I guess it is about about having been immersed in different cultural (including philosophical, or theological, or scientific, or whatever you can think of) worlds.
Do artists recognise a Gainsborough from a few brush strokes in a corner or the picture? And wordsmiths identify a poem from a couple of words, or a phrase? Can a mathematician look at part of an equation and say what it is?
Time to take the cat to the vet. Gotta go.