Thursday, March 18, 2010

Q. Why do I find some of the melodic themes “playing” in my mind for several days after a concert?

"How a melody becomes an earworm, however, is unclear. A 2001 survey by James J. Kellaris of the University of Cincinnati, a consumer psychologist, found that “music characterized by simplicity, repetitiveness and incongruity with listeners’ expectations is most likely to become ‘stuck.’ ” Up to 98 percent of people will experience a sticky tune, his study suggested, and some people, like musicians, women and the worry-prone, are more susceptible than others. The causes may be psychological or even physical, tied to sound frequencies that resonate in the body."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

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