The results of a new study that was carried out at Goldsmiths, University of London in the United Kingdom, are published this week in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. The study is about finding out why catchy tunes that we can't get out of our heads becomes so addictive.
Dr. Kelly Jakubowski has been playing violin since she was 5 years old and has been fascinated by music and musical performance for as long as she can remember.
As an undergraduate student, she began asking questions about what the brain does when it listens to music. Today, Earworms, are those melodies that get stuck in our heads.
Once the most common earworms had been collated, their structure could be analyzed. They took the top 100 songs described as earworms and matched them with 100 songs of a similar level of popularity, age, and style. Once the songs were paired, the researchers compared and scrutinized the ditties using "83 statistical summary and corpus-based melodic features and automated classification techniques."
"These musically sticky songs seem to have quite a fast tempo along with a common melodic shape and unusual intervals or repetitions like we can hear in the opening riff of Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple or in the chorus of Bad Romance by Lady Gaga."Dr. Kelly Jakubowski