Starry Nights and Earworms

It doesn’t matter how much music I hear throughout the day. The first tune of the day just gets stuck. I play it in my head over and over and over – not even realizing it half the time. This is known as an “earworm” and, apparently, some tunes are “stickier” than others. There seems to be something known as recency for most people – whatever they’ve heard most recently is the song that gets stuck. For others, circumstances like an association with a memory can trigger an earworm, and so can a mood (think sadness = I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry).

For me it’s the first tune of the day. Today began with Don Maclean’s Vincent – a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh – and, 11 hours of non-stop music later, it’s still there in the breaks and pauses. It’ll be there until the first tune of tomorrow.

For more details about earworms, including details of what’s going on in the brain at the time, read Tara Gaertner’s post on the topic at Training the Musical Brain.

I’m waiting for the sun to set and darkness to set in. The sky is perfectly clear. Should make for beautiful, starry night.

Image credit: Van Gogh Gallery

Earworm credit: Lead.Learn.Live



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About LaDona's Music Studio

Musician, pianist, teacher, blogger.
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4 Responses to Starry Nights and Earworms

  1. Grace Miles says:

    I simply can’t agree enough that whatever you hear last gets stuck. Why? Because I have Miley Cyrus’s ‘Party in the USA’ in my head right now. I can’t believe it either, but a girl with an amazing voice was singing it at an outdoor concert today.

  2. pianoanne says:

    Sadly, “The Chicken Dance” seems to bee a sticky little tune. As long as I don’t start dancing to the tune in my head.

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