Have You Ever…


Had a song stuck in your head? I’m sure everyone has at some time or another.

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I love music, all music. I love listening to it, singing with it, humming to it, drumming my fingers to it! My daughter says that everything reminds me of a song. She’s constantly asking me to “stop”.

Some times after watching a video, hearing a song or even just hearing the tune of a song it happens! For no apparent reason. It doesn’t even have to be your a favorite either! One song get’s stuck. 

It happens to me a lot! Remembering a few…  watching the clip of Pink’s “Glitter in the Air” 2010 Emmy performance stuck in my head for days! A friend said to me as I was walking out the door once “Hey Tammy, No hair in my hairbrush”! Well that caused a 4 day run of the Veggie Tale song by that name! I love Veggie Tales but come on 4 DAYS!

I’ve tried playing other songs over and over again. Then I get up from the computer and the original” stuck” song pops back into my head.

I thought I’d “Google” “why?” this happens! Did you know that there have been “official” studies on this very topic. Aren’t you glad we have researchers working on this very important topic! ha!

One of the studies was actually done here locally to me at the University of Cincinnati.

That study was by James J. Kellaris. Hisresearch seeks to identify characteristics of music that make them memorable. His preliminary work points in three directions he believes play a role:

  • Repetition: One theme song that respondents reported as getting stuck in their heads often was “Mission: Impossible.” Kellaris was not surprised. “A repeated phrase, motif or sequence might be suggestive of the very act of repetition itself, such that the brain echoes the pattern automatically as the musical information is processed,” he says.
  • Musical simplicity: Simpler songs appear more likely to make your brain itch. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of getting Barney’s “I Love You, You Love Me” song stuck can attest to that. Generally, children’s songs are more prone to getting stuck than classical music, Kellaris says.
  • Incongruity: When a song does something unexpected, it can also spark a cognitive itch. Examples include the irregular time signatures of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” or the song “America” from West Side Story. Unpredictable melodic patterns or an unexpectedly articulated individual note can have the same impact.

    (Taken from University of Cincinnati news article by: Carey Hoffman)

Well, I know you will sleep easier tonight knowing this all important information….I know I will! hehe!
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