Why Do Some Songs Stick in Our Heads?
Certain tunes are more than just appealing—they seem to get “stuck” in our minds. Song fragments that we can’t stop humming are called “earworms.” Musical psychologist Elizabeth Margulis describes what might cause these tenacious tunes and why repetition in music is so catchy. (For more on earworms, check out this SciFri article.)
Elizabeth Margulis is author of On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind (Oxford University Press, 2013), and a music professor and director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.