How Beethoven Retained Information

Humans are inherently bad at retaining information. We forget almost all of the things we read and hear about. However, when we write things down, we’re far more likely to retain it. This is exactly what Beethoven used to do when he composed music.

In the book “Managing Oneself,” Peter Drucker, the founder of modern business management, says,

“Beethoven left behind an enormous number of sketch books, yet he said he never actually looked at them when he composed. Asked why he kept them, he is reported to have replied, “If I don’t write it down immediately, I forget it right away. If I put it into a sketchbook, I never forget it and I never have to look it up again.”

This is why whenever I learn about an interesting idea, I write it down immediately. I write it down so that I can understand and remember the concept better.

Even if you don’t ever re-read what it is you wrote down, the simple act of writing it down will increase your ability to retain information.

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16 thoughts on “How Beethoven Retained Information

  1. Mr Vincent Carlos, I got worried about you. You have been lost in action. I hope life is good?

    Agree with this post. I write it down immediately too. And sometimes 3 times to help it sink in and read out aloud. I am super forgetful even more so these days.!!

    Nice to have you back. Regards bella

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah you have a mailing list. Cool. How do i get on the mailing list? I got your ebook but does that put me on your mail list?

        Oh life is good a few unforseen events.. like a lorry comes into my car whilst we are on 40 mile hour road..but we are okay.

        Lovely to have you back part time i guess?

        Like

      2. you get put on the mailing list when you download the ebook, but I actually took you off the email list because I didn’t want you to be getting emails of posts you already read because you already see my posts on wordpress. wait what’s a Lorry?

        Like

      3. Lorry ..i guess you guys call it a truck ? A heavy good vechicle.? It was a big one but not a mega big one.. but big . Does lorry make sense? Usa and uk english..eek

        Oh i see about the mailing list. So you mailing weekly. Mailchimp is always at back of my mind. But read somewhere you need to have a pop box if you have a mailing list. Then also i not sure what to maillist about that adds extra to what i do on the blog. It remains a tought at the moment for me. And when i get the eureka moment it will happen.. right now my imagination cant come up with anything extra…

        Good to have u back on wp.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. oh wow, thankfully you were okay. that’s crazy. I’m sorry to hear about that. And yea, mailing lists are important if you want to make writing into something more than just a hobby. It’s something to definitely look into. And thank you, I’m glad to be back:)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Totally agree! I find an exact similar phenomenon in my life – if I write it in my journal, I’ll never forget it… but if I don’t immediately write it down, I can remember that it was something important… but can’t remember the specifics.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been told that before, how writing things down drastically helps you retain information much better. No wonder he was such a success. Nice post Vincent!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you Jake:) It’s definitely true, physically writing things down can be a huge benefit for people when it comes to retaining information, but so is typing things onto a blog, even though it’s not necessarily pen to paper. One or the other is just fine:)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree Vincent. Writing down will help retain information. (Sometimes, we even remember on what side of the notebook we’ve written the info! :)) But there is one more thing that we can do to make it even easier to remember- and that is to talk or discuss about it… that is why in school, students often remember those that they’ve written, and even more of the things that they were able to talked about during group discussions and recitation and tend to forget the things discussed by the the teacher when they only listened to it.

    Liked by 2 people

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