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?

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