Familiar music is not as loud

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Boise, Idaho. I spend a lot of time working in coffee shops. But here the music is too loud, and it has been hard to work.

Yet just now they’ve switched from current songs I don’t know to an oldie that I know very well, “All along the watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix. How amazing — it’s still loud, but somehow less intrusive. I can work! This is an effect I’ve noticed before. My theory is that my brain is familiar with this track and knows there is no new information to be processed, so it tunes it out.

[14 March 2017]