What does it sound like when you have music stuck in your head?

I have music in my head 99.999% of the time and it’s not always something I recently listened to. I usually wake up with a random song in my head and it’s in there until I put on music for real, otherwise it sometimes switches. It’s usually a song I’m familiar with and like. Sometimes I only hear the vocals if the instrumental backing is too complicated and sometimes it turns into a medley of two songs. It’s not as clear as if I were actually listening to it, but clear enough that if I’m stuck somewhere without an ipod and am enormously bored I can entertain myself by “listening” to what’s in my head and seeing if I can remember all the lyrics and “play” the song in its entirety.

I mentioned this to a friend and she was perplexed saying that she only gets songs stuck in her head if it’s something she recently heard and then it’s only for a few moments.

My mom has mentioned “hearing” songs, but in her case it’s just vague background noise and she can’t make anything out. She has temporal lobe epilepsy though, so that probably has something to do with it.

Anyone else?

I can hear the entire song, and I can even isolate specific parts and bring them out to hear them better. This, somehow, is completely separate from the part of me that produces sound so I’ll suddenly forget how it goes if I try to remember the lyrics (if I haven’t memorized them) or write down the sheet music/sing it.

Bizarre, it is.

Yep, same here. All the time, 24/7. Sometimes it’s just one song, sometimes it’s like listening to a playlist. I can usually exert conscious control over what is playing in my head, too. Most of the time I think it’s great (I’m a huge fan of music, as people who read in Cafe Society prolly know), but occasionally it can be a drag.

My default head tune for the last 3 or 4 days, btw, has been Iron Butterfly’s My Mirage.

I also have music in my head most all of the time, but often it is just an annoying simple chord progression that is on infinite loop. I play soothing music while I work and that helps.

This is me too. Right now I have “Footloose” in my head. I hear the full thing; vocals, guitar, brass, etc.

On a side note I also have epilepsy and sometimes have seizures start in the temporal lobe, and my hearing often gets screwed up during seizures. I’ll try to be hooked up to and EEG next time I have one so we can check.

More often than not, the songs playing in my head are Ke$ha songs, an ideal situation for me. Every once in a while I’ll get a song I hate stuck in my head, but usually I can get rid of it by thinking of a Kesha song, or, if necessary, by actually listening to a Kesha song.

Y’all have phonographic memories. I do too, but mine skips. :slight_smile:

Yep. I’ve asked numerous people in my life “What song is in your head right now?” Or “What song did you wake up with?” And the only answer I ever received was “Huh??” So it’s cool to find that others have imbedded music, too. I usually hear the chorus first, then the entire song if I know it. If the song is a nuisance, I listen to a song I like to replace it. I have total recall for music I like, and remember where every note belongs, when a change in inflection occurs, and when each and every extraneous riff, cymbal crash, triangle tap, and woo! unh! yeah! ah! etc fits. Too bad I’m chronically tone deaf. Seems like it would be a handy skill for a musician.

I sometimes hear a medley of two songs, too! Not sure if it works the same way for you as it does for me … sometimes I’ll have a song in my head, and it’ll have some sort of chord progression or note that matches another song, and so in the middle of a verse or line I’ll sometimes start thinking of the other song instead.

And I’ll definitely sometimes (pretty frequently) get a song in my head that we sang in a class play in elementary school.

Same. I usually wake up with a song as well. What’s odd is that when I’m trying to sleep I do NOT have music in my head, just stupid random repetitive thoughts chasing their own tails and keeping me awake.

My experience is pretty much like CatherineZeta’s. I am living with (fragments of) “No More Heroes” by The Stranglers right now, a song I probably haven’t actually heard for about 30 years.

Y’all should know this stuff is now studied by real scientists these days, for example: ‘Earworms (“Stuck Song Syndrome”): Towards a Natural History of Intrusive Thoughts,’ British Journal of Psychology, (2010), 101 #4, 637-653. [PDF]. The technical term is “earworm”.

That would be ideal for me too if I wished to expedite my suicide.

I usually get a small to medium-sized loop rather than an entire song and I “hear” it vividly, exactly as the recording or performance sounds (/ed). Last night walking around, it was part of Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris as performed last spring by our choral society. More commonly, it’s pop or rock. I get Yes songs as earworms quite often.

I can hear mental music just like it was playing for real. The problem is occasionally a song will get stuck in my head and won’t stop. Arrrrgghhh. I hate that.

What I do then is try to override it with a mental rendition of Sweet City Woman. Then if that song gets stuck, I don’t care, because it always makes me happy.

I’m not one of you, but I have a question for those of you with the phonographic memory.

How many times do you have to hear a song, before a perfect arrangement replays in your head?

I can’t really give you an answer–probably quite a few times. Today, however, I had the unfortunate experience of getting Katy Perry’s “I’m Wide Awake” stuck in my head after hearing about two seconds of it on the radio. The weird thing is that I’ve only heard it once before, but it’s extremely repetitive and easily gets stuck in your brain despite the complete stupidity of the song.

Pretty much every song that’s in my head is one that I’ve heard hundreds of times before.

“Phonographic memory”- that’s a good way to put it.

Like Troppus**** I’m totally tone deaf, I really wish I could sing what’s stuck in my head.

I tried looking up this phenomenon online and found stuff about earworms, but it seemed to be all anecdotes that are similar to whatPonch8 said about the Katy Perry song- that earworms are very catchy, repetitive songs- I couldn’t find too much about just having music in your head all the time. Good to know it happens to others too though.

I do not have imbedded music. I get earworms randomly, sometimes going months without one. When one comes up, sometimes it will be a song I haven’t heard in awhile and sometimes I’ll know what triggered it. But often not.

What’s irritating is when the song is stuck but I don’t remember all the words, either because it’s been too long or because it’s so new that I don’t have the lyrics memorized, yet. It’s extra annoying when the earworm has to keep repeating just the chorus because that’s all you can remember fully.

The only way to fight that is to deliberately learn the song and to sing it whenever I get the urge. The last song I was forced to memorize was Still Alive by GlaDOS.

Now that I think about it, a lot of the triggered oldies are Weird Al songs. I’m sure that says something. Dammit, **Midnight Star **just started.

I almost always have some favorite and very familiar piece of classical music running through my head. I can’t hear every single instrumental part, of course–just the most prominent ones.

There are only two pieces that became actual earworms. One was the hunter’s chorus from Der Freischütz (which my chorus was rehearsing). The other was Joan Sutherland’s performance of Handel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim” which ran through my head for DAYS, but I didn’t mind at all because it is just glorious.

On one other occasion I did wake up in the middle of the night softly singing the music my chorus was rehearsing.

I usually have earworms, and they’re the complete, layered songs. While it can be annoying, I’m mostly glad of it, since I don’t need to carry an ipod around.