Why do songs get stuck in our heads?

It’s a universal truth that most of us can remember, word for word, a certain song, or songs, from our early childhood.

It’s an extreme example of this question: namely, what makes a song memorable? It’s probably a combination of several factors: obviously, the song itself, which relies on an indefinable gift of talented composers throughout history to construct tunes, lyrics and (for dance music) arrangements that listeners will respond to.

However, there are other factors: the context in which we first hear the song, how many times we hear it and peer pressure, etc.

If we knew the exact formula for making memorable music, we’d all be as rich as Simon Cowell by now.

Find the answer to more baffling questions in How It Works magazine. Order it in printdownload it onto your digital device or subscribe today to ensure you never miss an issue!

Plus, take a look at:

How does Auto-Tune work?

Top 5 Facts: iTunes

How are decibels measured?