Lady Gaga tops the list of the Top 10 Catchiest songs on the planet, according to a study by a Durham University survey. Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head comes in second. The team studied Earworms to identify what makes one tune so much catchier than another.
The most memorable songs included an upbeat tempo, a simple melodic and repetitive structure – in the style of nursery rhymes (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) – which rise and fall in pitch and an unusual break structure in the song which surprises the listener.
Dr. Kelly Jakubowski from Durham University explained: “The idea is to combine a really simple overall melody shape with a unique pattern of interval. The melody is quite simple to remember but it has something a bit more interesting added.” The study, Dissecting an Earworm, is published in the academic journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts.
Researchers also found ways to get rid of that irritating tune that you just can’t get out of your head.
If you do not have the time to allow the melody to fade away on its own, researchers say try listening to another more mundane tune to force it out of your mind – the national anthem, for example, works quite well.
Here’s the Top 10 most frequent songs to get stuck in your head:
1. Bad Romance, Lady Gaga
2. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Kylie Minogue
3. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey
4. Somebody That I Used To Know, Gotye
5. Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5
6. California Gurls, Katy Perry
7. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
8. Alejandro, Lady Gaga
9. Poker Face, Lady Gaga
10. Rolling In The Deep, Adele