Is there a similar term for eidetic memory, but for sound?

An eidetic memory is the ability to remember things in exact detail, as if you can see them in your mind:


The measure of eidetic memory is calculated in seconds, and minutes. It is usually stronger in children and almost unknown in adults.

For this task, I would think: "as if you can hear them in your mind" describes it fairly well.

All dictionary sources define the term by "seeing"...but is it the same for hearing, smell, and even touch ?

I suppose it would be better developed in musicians as opposed to those of us who are less talented; it seems to be particularly well-developed in savants who can replicate perfectly a tune after hearing it once only.

Does "eidetic memory" apply here also?

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    As a musician who has a poor memory, I can vouch that the ability to remember a series of notes varies widely in the musical community. Many musicians can remember a tune visually, especially if they have perfect pitch. As they hear it, they can imagine both the keys on a piano and the notes on the stave. I spoke about this to a pianist with a reputation for memorising really fast. He told me he memorised (a) the sound (b) the finger movements (muscle memory) (c) the appearance on the staff. I suspect that all of these were helped by the fact he just had a good memory in general. Jan 14, 2021 at 20:05
  • @chasly-supportsMonica That is extremely insightful...perhaps an answer? Jan 14, 2021 at 20:06
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    Maybe it’s called phonographic memory ;-)
    – Jim
    Jan 15, 2021 at 0:56
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    This has a good answer on Psychology SE. "Eidetic memory" is claimed to encompass the audio aspect there. Jan 15, 2021 at 7:55
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    If a similar question was posted on another site it doesn’t mean that this is a dupe, as long as it is on topic from a linguistic point of view.
    – user 66974
    Jan 16, 2021 at 18:54

2 Answers 2


Echoic memory , or auditory sensory memory

is a type of memory that stores audio information (sound). ...

The purpose of echoic memory is to store audio information as the brain processes the sound. It also holds bits of audio information, which gives meaning to the overall sound.


Collins Dictionary defines echoic memory as:


the ability to recapture the exact impression of a sound shortly after the sound has finished

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    But [an] 'eidetic memory' goes beyond 'visual memory'; it is the ability to remember things as if you can see them in your mind and in exact detail. Jan 14, 2021 at 19:59

How about "aural"? "...of or relating to the ear or to the sense of hearing." (from Merriam-Webster)

  • Could you provide a link? It would also help if you explained why you think your term is appropriate.
    – fev
    Jan 17, 2021 at 10:21

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