Saturday, September 23, 2006

Can a tune get stuck in your brain?

Have you ever had the experience of having a tune stuck in your brain? It goes round and round and round and you think you'll go nuts if it doesn't stop. To my surprise, I found out several years ago and these tunes actually have a name: earworms! Kind of makes sense doesn't it? And certain tunes, like commercial jingles, are especially likely to turn into earworms. A few years ago the restaurant Chili's had a song about their babyback ribs. Apparently it became an earworn for millions of people. According to one website on earworms, some of the top earworms are:
  1. It's a Small World After All
  2. YMCA (by the Village People)
  3. The Macarene
  4. Who Let the Dogs Out
  5. We will rock you
  6. Whoomp, there it goes
  7. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (opening motive)
  8. Kit-Kat candy bar jingle

What they all have in come is lots of repitition. Research shows that men and women are bothered equally and that musicians are bothered more than the average person.

What is your experience?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Why Use Music for Healing?

First of all, let's define healing: "the ameliaoration or lessening or improvement of symptoms as reported by patient." (definition by Dr. Cash) Healing does not mean curing. No one can claim to have a 100% cure for anything. Life is full of exceptions but guess what? As many people report healing from alternative or complimentary therapies as report healing from traditional Western medicine techniques, i.e., surgery, antibiotics, psychotherapy, etc.

If music is so powerful, why don't more people turn to it? Because they don't realize it's power despite the fact that 99% of people on the planet will tell you what kind of music they like...and don't like! Every culture that we know of has music that reflects that culture whether it's gamelan music in Asia, hip-hop in South L.A., or Western classical music in London or Vienna. We are hard-wired to produce and respond to music.

Soooo, is it that surprising that music can also be healing? Doesn't music help you to relax, to forget your troubles for a while at least? Doesn't music bring back wonderful memories and those old feelings or love or infatuation? Music therapist and music researchers in the health field have documented music's power to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and stabilize the heartbeat and breathing. Music connects people heart-to-heart.

So what are you waiting for?