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Bach-to-Back

Nobody is paying attention anyway

You've probably heard a lot about what music sounds like when it's played backward. Sometimes there are supposed to be secret messages.

There's a joke that when you play a country/western song backward, the singer gets back his girl, his dog and the pickup truck.

But it may be hard to tell if that's true, because according to a 1997 report in the journal Perceptual Motor Skills, nobody pays much attention to backward music.

The department of general psychology of Osaka University in Japan studied the effect music had on someone's ability to study. Twenty-four students were asked to memorize nine random digits while listening to instrumental music, the same music played backward, or no music at all.

The students who listened to instrumental music had trouble memorizing the numbers because they were constantly distracted by the music. But the students who heard the backward music weren't distracted, and did just as well as those who had no music playing.

Now you may never find out if the singer got his dog back.

Consumer News
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