Greetings amazing readers of Thebiem! I’m going to take a small side step from self help for today. This topic is a very relatable phenomenon; for me, for you, and almost everyone! It makes a little bit of humming from you, a little bit of head bobs and dance moves. Can you guess? Yes, it is about music. But what music exactly am I talking about? No, it is not Pop, EDM or any such genre. I’d say it has a genre of its own and which we better know as Sticky Music or Earworms. ( And, no not actually worms )
Sticky Music And Sticky Notes 🎵
Sticky Music, which we better know as earworms, is a situation where a song sticks in your head for a long period of time. Moreover, the term for ‘earworms’ comes from the fact that these stuck songs act somewhat like parasites. They are stick in our brain for a long period. The psychological term for this is ‘Involuntary Musical Imagery’ or INMI.
Usually, rather than the entire song, only a specific part of the song continuously repeats in our head. A very good example of this was 2017’s ‘Despacito’ phase, where everyone played it continuously. As a result, it caused lots of sticky music situations.
Often, most of us have had the experience of sticky music. And usually, it is a song that we claim to hate. Ironic right? I remember when Meghan Trainor’s ‘No’ was stuck in my head for a good week. It almost drew me to insanity! 😂
Nature Of Earworms
Of course, the question arose : What similarities did such music share? Why did they get stuck into our heads for so long? Surely, there must be some common factor! And yes, there was, somewhat. After a mini survey, psychologists observed that most of these songs depended on their popularity and recentness on the music charts. ( Again, a good example is Despacito. )
Furthermore, they observed that most of these songs consisted of melodic contours. That is, where there is a rise and then a fall in pitch. Also, it is more likely for songs with repeated beats or notes to stick in our heads. Haven’t you felt this? Perhaps it has something to do with the catchy beats or combination of instruments; some songs just clumsy themselves in your brain.
Antidote For Stuck Songs
No one likes to repeat the same song again and again. I understand, it really affects my functioning for the day.
• One way you can deal with sticky music, is listening to that song entirely. That usually helps me.
• Another method is to combat it with another song. However, the side effect here is that you may get stuck with another song instead.
Of course, it will eventually leave your mind, till then, try to make yourself busy. I sometimes try to incorporate my studies to the tune of my earworms. 😂 Although not effective, it does help me learn my answers!
1. Have you ever experienced earworms? For how long?
2. Which songs often get stuck in your head? If you had to create a list, which song would most likely fulfill the quota for sticky music?
3. Lastly, can you mention one incident where earworms made your life a tad more difficult? ( I remember singing a song during a speech. 😅 )
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