Defined by researchers as a looped segment of music usually about 20 seconds long that suddenly plays in our heads without any conscious effort, an earworm can last for hours, days, or even, in extreme cases, months.
Do earworms go away?
An earworm is not a disease—it can happen to anyone, sometimes frequently, and generally disappears on its own within a short time. Chewing gum is one easy method known to help get rid of earworms.
Is it normal to have a song stuck in your head for days?
Earworms or stuck song syndrome
Recurring tunes that involuntarily pop up and stick in your mind are common: up to 98% of the Western population has experienced these earworms. Usually, stuck songs are catchy tunes, popping up spontaneously or triggered by emotions, associations, or by hearing the melody.
How long does the earworm stick around?
While there’s a huge amount of person-to-person variation when it comes to these songs, they hang around for an average of 30 minutes, and they tend to be tunes with lyrics, not just instrumentation. Fortunately, most people report earworm songs as benign or pleasant. But others find them annoying or even maddening.
What are 3 common characteristics of earworms?
In fact, it’s an earworm.
A 2016 study analyzed the melodies of earworms and found common characteristics:
- Upbeat tempos.
- Pitch patterns similar to other popular songs.
- Big up-and-down leaps in notes, such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or “Moves Like Jagger”
Are earworms real worms?
Has an earworm crawled into your head and started gnawing on your brain, looping a specific song until you go crazy? Although not literally worms, the process of having a song stuck in your head affects most of the population.
How do you get rid of earworms?
Listen to the tune all the way through. Since earworms are usually only a fragment of music, playing the tune all the way through can help break the loop. Replace it with another piece of music. Chew gum!
- Faster in tempo.
- Have a common rising and falling contour.
- Have unusual intervals or leaps within them.
Are earworms normal?
In most cases, earworms are neutral to pleasant, not serious, and may even be part of your brain’s creative process. In a few cases, especially when they continue for more than 24 hours, earworms may indicate something more serious.