The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'earworms'
Scientists have discovered how earworms work; apparently they work a lot like histamines. A succes sful earworm creates a "cognitive itch" in the brain which can only be "scratche d" by repeating the tune over and over.
Mozart's children would "infuriate" him by playing melody and scales on the pian o below his room - but stopping before completing the tune. "He would have to r ush down and complete the scale because he couldn't bear to listen to an unresol ved scale," Mr Smith related.
It may be cause for some concern that this research was presented at a conferenc e on Consumer Psychology.
An article looking at the phenomenon of earworms, or pieces of music which get stuck in one's head and resist removal.
Stuck song syndrome annoyed, frustrated, and irritated women significantly more than men. And earworm attacks were more frequent -- and lasted longer -- for musicians and music lovers. Slightly neurotic people also seemed to suffer more. Kellaris hasn't yet found a cure. Women are more likely to try to get rid of the offending ditties. Men are just as likely to do nothing as to fight their earworms.
Unfortunately, the good doctor has not yet found a surefire way of stopping the bastards; though some folk cures include using another song to dislodge it, or trying to complete the song (breaking the loop). (via 1.0)
I'm Wayne Kerr, and if there's one thing I hate... it's Bryan Adams songs being played on PA systems at railway stations. There should be a law against ubiquitous performance of Bryan Adams in public places (perhaps under the Geneva Convention, if we're still signatories to that oh-so-September-10 piece of paper, that is). I was subjected to Everything I Do I Do It For You whilst waiting for the train home this evening. That braying, jeans-too-tight vocal, and that moose-mating-call guitar riff were still looping in my head when I got off the train. Not a pleasant experience.
Tenser, said the Tensor: Scientists are studying Stuck Tune Syndrome, commonly known as 'earworms', or the condition in which a melody or song starts repeating in one's head, becoming impossible to dislodge. A researcher at the University of Cincinnati is investigating what causes a song to become an earworm:
Kellaris, a marketing teacher who moonlights as a bouzouki player in a Greek band, theorizes that certain types of music operate like mental mosquito bites. They create a "cognitive itch" that can only be scratched by replaying the tune in the mind. The more the brain scratches, the worse the itch gets. The syndrome is triggered when "the brain detects an incongruity or something 'exceptional' in the musical stimulus," he explained in a report made earlier this year to the Society for Consumer Psychology.
The fact that the researcher in question is a marketing teacher, and working in "consumer psychology", is slightly worrying, making one wonder exactly how the research is going to be used. (See Egan, Greg, Beyond the Whistle Test.)
A classic example is "If You're Happy and You Know It," he says. The melody in each verse builds sequentially from the previous verse... With each "happy and you know it" line, the melody changes slightly, "but in a predictable way," he says. "It's the same pattern, which makes it more memorable."
I'm Wayne Kerr, and if there's one thing I HATE...
it's the piped music at
Museum Melbourne Central station.
The station has an expertly-designed PA system which gives uniform coverage
of all parts of the station, from the escalator leading into it to the
platforms. Unfortunately, some marketing type at the newly-privatised
operators of the station decided to "add value" to the waiting-for-a-train
experience by piping music through this system. The music, in this case, being
past chart hits, adult-contemporary rock ballads and bubblegum R&B.
Supposedly, on average, people like this.
Thanks to you, Mr. Bayside Trains Marketroid, I now have I've Had The Time Of My Life playing in my head, I hate you, Mr. Marketroid.