A note from Quaver: On Sticky Tunes

by Abby @ Quaver on September 12, 2011

in At Quaver HQ,Quaver's Notes

Today, we welcome QUAVER HIMSELF to the blog for the first of his weekly posts. Come back every Monday for another “note” from Quaver :).

Some tunes can be as sticky as bubblegum!

It happens to me all the time . . .

The first tune I hear every day sticks in my mind and goes round and round in my head all day. This can be a good thing if it’s a Rachmaninov piano concerto or a Beatles song, but not so great when it’s the Baldyman hair restorer commercial or the Midsouth Artichoke Farm jingle.


I feel like sticking my head in a musical dishwasher. Now that’s when I know it’s bad.

Midsouth Artichoke Farm,
Midsouth Artichoke Farm,
Midsouth Artichoke Farm,
Midsouth Artichoke Farm

My very scientific experiments have proven that the only way to erase a tune that is stuck in one’s head is to ask someone to sing another tune that ‘tops’ the previous one. Many times I have asked someone at Quaver HQ to randomly sing me something. They look at me slightly strangely and don’t know why, and I know it’s a bit random . . . but it works – as long as they sing something preferable to what I already have in my head. If not, it’s back to square one and a very grumpy Quaver!

This issue of sticky tunes has got me thinking.

Perhaps this stickiness is what any composer wants when he or she sits down to pen a tune. A memorable piece. A piece that is instantly recognizable – isn’t that one of the reasons to compose music? So next time you have the ‘Acme Bath Salts for Dogs’  or ‘Flyslam Luxury Flyswatters for the Advanced Flyswatter’ jingle stuck in your head, tip your hat to the writer. . . they did their job well!

What tunes find their way in your head and just get stuck? Do you think that songwriter deserves an ovation or a kick in the pants?

Hang on . . . it’s coming back again . . .

Midsouth Artichoke Farm,
Midsouth Artichoke Farm,
Midsouth Artichoke Farm.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cindy Austin September 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I think what you’re referring to is called an earworm, from the German “Ohrwurm.” You can read about it here… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earworm

That should give you something to smile about today!


2 Abby @ Quaver October 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Earworm, ay? Sounds dangerous. Quaver out!


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