Neuroscientists have found that musical memories can be preserved in the brain even when most other memories are lost. Memory loss, such as that experienced by amnesiacs, provides a window for neuroscientists to study how memory works.
One amnesiac patient, a German professional cellist, had such profound memory loss that he could not remember well-known facts about Germany, nor important details from his youth or adulthood. He had no memory of relatives and friends, except for his brother and his full-time care-giver.
However, he could still play the cello and sight-read music. Moreover, his memory for music from his past was just as good as that of his non-amnesiac colleagues. He could even learn to recognise new music (but not new faces or objects).