The term earworm is derived from the German word Der Ohwurm, which refers to an insect. Research scientists claim that earworms typically loop at about 20 seconds of music and can last for hours or even days. Predictability and rhythmic repetition are two of five components that make a strong earworm. The other three components are melodic potency, surprise, and receptiveness. There is no formula for creating a catchy tune, but certain popular songs seem to top the chart of mild torture.
About the Song: The chorus to Who Let The Dogs Out is so basic and so catchy, it’s just too easy to get stuck on repeat. Baha Men was a relatively unknown musical group before this track topped the charts worldwide in 2000 and 2001. Kids love it, and sporting events use it to rile up the crowd. It also charts high on many music sites’ worst songs ever lists.
About the Song: The Final Countdown is a perfect example of melodic potency, predictability, and surprise. The secret lies in its unforgettable keyboard riff. The sound of their Korg Polysix keyboard was incredibly bright, urgent, and undeniably 80s. The lyrics describe leaving Earth after it’s demolished, presumably by the cold war turmoil of the time.