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Sing your Social Security

Assign a tone to each numeral.
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It is hard to remember long numbers. It is easier if you assign some rhythm to it, or a tune. No doubt this recruits other parts of the brain in the memorization task.

I propose that each numeral be assigned a tone. Thus any sequence of numbers would have a corresponding tune. The meter would be arbitrary. Even if someone forgot the numbers, he or she could hum the tune and the numbers would naturally follow. This system could be used to memorize any string of numbers. Perhaps a website could take the numbers, interpret the tones, then assign known rhythmic structures (eg: girl from Ipanema, Jingle Bells, etc).

bungston, Dec 22 2005

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       I used to do this to take math and science tests back when.
xandram, Dec 22 2005
  

       I use the tune from 'the girl from Ipenema' to remember the words for 'my old man's a dustman'
moomintroll, Dec 22 2005
  

       uhmmm.. interesting idea, but about as feasible as remembering your telephone number by the key tones. Probably easier to just memorize the number. Also.. let's all?
roleohibachi, Dec 22 2005
  

       It would be just my luck if my number accidentally corresponded with Brotherhood of Man's "Save your kisses for me" or some similar guff. Neat idea though bung.
Fishrat, Dec 23 2005
  

       The rhythm method can be spotty but tones don't seem to add much reliability.
bristolz, Dec 23 2005
  

       You know what they call people who use the rhythm method...
normzone, Dec 23 2005
  

       //I use the tune from 'the girl from Ipenema' to remember the words for 'my old man's a dustman'   

       moomintroll, Dec 22 2005 //
Now that is Talent, [moomintroll]!.
gnomethang, Dec 23 2005
  

       you call it talent! I call it mind boggling   

       what mushrooms has he been eating?
po, Dec 23 2005
  

       The problem with using telephone touch-tones to memorize numbers is that those are a mix of two frequencies (one for the row, one for the column), and some people (including myself) have trouble hearing the difference.   

       The problem with just using tones is that, unless you have perfect pitch, 12 and 23 may sound an awful lot alike.   

       So, maybe each number could be an interval - small numbers going up: 0 being c-c, 1 c-d, 2 c-e, and so forth, larger numbers going down: 9 c-b, 8 c-a, 7 c-g, 6 c-f, 5 c-e. Intervals add up: 123 is c-d-f-a. Of course, you might run out of your singing range over the course of a credit card number.   

       Alternatively, each sequence could start with an identical foundation tone that isn't part of the number.
jutta, Dec 24 2005
  

       My PIN still sounds like 'Shave and a Haircut', though!
gnomethang, Dec 25 2005
  

       I've done this for years, doesn't everyone? ;) Just plain old solfege, with 0=rest and 8=doh octave, 9= re octave.   

       Sometimes makes a recognizable tune, sometimes I have to memorize.
csea, Dec 25 2005
  

       You know what they call people who use the rhythm method, don't you?   

       Parents.
normzone, Dec 25 2005
  
      
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