A couple of years ago I did an online music theory course. The discussion in the course forum was great fun and very informative.
One thing that came up was the recognition of common rhythms in music, for example a jig is in 6/8 time, which means there are 6 1/8 notes in each bar, and it has a sort of "jiggety jiggety jiggety jiggety" rhythm to it. A slip jig is in 9/8 time (e.g. 'The Butterfly' sounds like "buy the band a beer, buy the band a cadillac"). In a beginning recorder book which I consulted it gave the difference between 6/8 time and eight notes played in 3/4 time (mathematically 6/8 = 3/4) is like "strawberry, strawberry" vs. "in-the month-of ap-ril". This is the kind of pattern recognition aid I am referring to.
Anyway these were being referred to (on the forum) as "mnemonics", but someone pointed out that mnemonic means memory aid (I believe the French term aide memoire is used, even in English), and these phrases were not aimed at helping us remember how a jig goes, but rather to recognise a jig when we hear it. I thought it was splitting hairs (at the time), but now I would like to know if there is a correct term for this sort of thing.
Example sentence: That [----] was very helpful as it helped me to recognise the strathspey when I heard it later at the céilidh.