About the Deal
This deal from Groupon caught our eye at MiiDeals Atlanta.
- One 2-Hour In-Studio Recording Session
- One 4-Hour In-Studio Recording Session
Catchy Songs: How They Get Stuck in Your Head
Using MRIs, scientists have been able to pinpoint which parts of the brain a catchy song causes to “itch”â€”but thereâ€™s still no way to identify which elements of a song make it stick. Read on to learn more about why some songs just wonâ€™t leave your head.
You donâ€™t need to be a neuroscientist to know that Rihanna is a master of mind control. The singerâ€”or at least the producers and songwriters with whom she worksâ€”succeeds in part because her songs have a knack for burrowing into listeners’ heads whether they like it or not. But what is it about massive pop hits that appeals to the brain?
Knowing the precise answer to that question would put you in high demand, just like knowing which presidents were secretly left-handed. Consulting companies have attempted to assign â€œhit scoresâ€ to songs based on factors such as tempo, rhythm, and melodic structure, though there’s little data available on whether such algorithms have improved on record executivesâ€™ gut instincts. Radio stations often simply go straight to the public, asking survey respondents to rate songs based on 5- to 10-second recordings of each trackâ€™s hook without regard as to why the song works.
MRIs have shown which parts of the brain a catchy song causes to “itch,” although they canâ€™t identify which elements of the song are responsible. Researcher and musician James Kellaris has conducted extensive surveys that suggest a few common qualities: repetition, simplicity of music and lyrics, and an element of the unexpectedâ€”such as an odd time signature or a note that suddenly soars above the restâ€”which may cause the brain to replay the song over and over in the attempt to reconcile the strange element with the sound it had been prepared to hear.
In his book Musicophilia, neuroscientist Oliver Sacks floats one hypothesis for why we got stuck with this feature of the human mind in the first place. Perhaps our brains are susceptible because it was advantageous for early humans to have bird calls, predatorsâ€™ movements, and other important aural cues on involuntary repeat so that they could recognize them laterâ€”or even map their own location using their auditory surroundings instead of leaving a trail of animal bones everywhere.
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