Soundtrack questions

We linked the other day to the very fine piece by Mark Steyn on Hal David, Burt Bacharach, and others from the golden half century. Now those guys had soundtracks in their brains; they wrote them! A good portion of the time, as we’ve noted, we have a soundtrack going too. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes funny, sometimes kooky. Dorsey, Sinatra, Jo Stafford, for a while a lot of Bach and Brahms, Raffi and ditties we made up for the kiddies, Itchycoo Park, Hooka Tooka, and lots more. We’ve looked for books on the subject but can’t find any as of yet. We dropped Mark a note but apparently he doesn’t respond to individual inquiries. So what determines the soundtracks of individuals? How does the music selection work to create such variations from one time to another? What were soundtracks like before the age of recording? Gregorian chant? Replays of your memorization of the Iliad or the Koran? Are there books on this subject? Any suggestions appreciated.

(BTW, this is not a recent phenomenon for us: we credited hearing the album cut of Light My Fire repeating over and over and over again for no boxes unchecked and getting a pretty good score on the math SAT a billion years ago.)

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