The Remarkable Link Between Music and Long-Term Recall
In May of 2021, Spanish musician Antonio Cadenas turned 101 years old. In 1919, he entered the world in Terque, Spain.
Cadenas’s life and musical journey are quite remarkable. He personifies the adage, ‘Age is just a number.’
He’s not just someone who’s felt the weight of the years; he also has Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease affects social, cognitive, and behavioral abilities and is an incurable brain
condition.Alzheimer’s disease affects over 850,000 people in the UK and many more people worldwide.
Alzheimer’s disease causes memory loss, however in certain situations the musical memory does not.
Cadenas still practices the piano and can recall musical theory despite having Alzheimer’s disease.
This is demonstrated in Cadenas’ performance of Juan D’Arienzo’s Lagrimas y sonrisas, which demonstrates
how brilliantly he plays the piano and how he does not let any of these obstacles get in the way.
Now that Cadenas is living with his son and family, they are also caring for him. Alongside his son and in front of his piano, he is seated in a room.
He is instructed to start playing the piano by his son. After his first prompt, he plays the song on
the piano with ease and no effort. His son nods in approval at the conclusion of his performance.
When he was a little child, his mother and local priests from a neighboring cathedral began teaching him piano. Between 1942 to 1946,
Cadenas took a vacation from music to serve in the military. After his time in the military, Cadenas’ love of music came back, and he continued to teach until he retired in the 1980s.
The musical prowess of Cadenas is a monument to artists that persevere in their craft despite the challenges of everyday life and continue to create beautiful music for the benefit of all listeners.
The endurance and unmatched talent of Cadenas are evidence that music can be a powerful healer for both the performers and the listeners.