The Science Behind Catchy Songs And Why They’re Stuck In Your Head
There’s always those random songs that get stuck in your head with no reason really why.
Sometimes it’s okay because it’s a song we like, but when you have things to do or just don’t wanna hear “Bad Romance” all day long, it does get annoying.
These types of songs are called “ear worms,” and artists like Lady Gaga knows all about them.
Neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin conducted a survey about these ear worms of which three of the nine songs were Lady Gaga’s. Prof. Levitin asked 3,000 people what ear worms they got stuck in their head most frequently, and the list is as follows:
1. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
2. Can’t Get you Out of My Head – Kylie Montague
3. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
4. Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye5.
5. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5
6. California Girls – Katy Perry
7. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
8. Alejandro – Lady Gaga
9. Poker Face – Lady Gaga
All of these songs have similar elements that make them catchy. There’s an actual formulaic, complex way that they’re constructed: the pace, the shape of the melody, and a few scattered unique intervals.
Songs that are faster in tempo tend to get stuck in our heads easier because we can move to them. The other element is being simple in structure but with a rhythmic pattern (like a nursery rhyme). Finally, there needs to be some unique details that make the song not so predictable or systematic.
And there you have it, that’s the formula if you ever want to get a song, voicemail, or list of chores stuck in your partners head.
And if you need to get one out of your head, try listening to it. Studies show the reason why you can’t forget a song is because you can’t remember a certain part. You can also try listening to another song, and if that doesn’t help, there’s always anti-anxiety medication.