Four years ago, I wrote a post called “Earworms,” a short essay about how catchy tunes become stuck in your head and won’t go away. According to research, it happens to 90% of us at least once a week.
Now imagine that the distant tune in the back of your head suddenly becomes very real. A real singer. Real drums. Real guitar. Strings. Full volume. These are called musical hallucinations and some people suffer from them on a daily basis.
In the years since I wrote that piece, I have heard public radio and others cover this topic (usually from a scientific perspective), most recently in The New Yorker and last week on RadioLab. Here is a segment of the radio show that runs about 20 minutes:
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