Lady Gaga’s song Bad Romance is the catchiest tune on the planet, according to a study by a university academic.
The definition of an earworm is a tune or song that keeps going around in a person’s head, long after the physical sound of it has finished.
Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head comes second, revealed Dr Kelly Jakubowski of Durham University who headed a team who asked 3,000 people what their most frequent earworm was.
The team studied the phenomenon to identify what makes one tune so much catchier than another.
The most memorable songs included a snappy tempo, a simple melodic and repetitive structure – in the style of nursery rhymes – which rise and fall in pitch and an unusual break structure in the song which surprises the unexpecting listener.
Dr Jakubowski 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.
Lady Gaga appears to have the knack for producing an earworm with two other songs named in the study’s list of the 10 most frequently named earworms:
:: Bad Romance, Lady Gaga
:: Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Kylie Minogue
:: Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey
:: Somebody That I Used To Know, Gotye
:: Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5
:: California Gurls, Katy Perry
:: Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
:: Alejandro, Lady Gaga
:: Poker Face, Lady Gaga
:: Rolling In The Deep, Adele