We've all gotten songs stuck in our heads, or found that, decades after hearing a piece of music, we are able to recall it with full clarity - but what are the qualities which cause some songs to have this staying power, while others simply fade into memory? In this piece, we look at how the group Imagine Dragons is able to craft music which manages to cling to listeners' brains.
In this latest post to MusicThinkTank, Hunter Farris breaks down the technical aspects of Imagine Dragons' music which makes their songs so memorable to listeners.
"...false sequences give us listeners a sense of what psychologists call “relative novelty,” as opposed to “absolute novelty.” Relative novelty isn’t about being exposed to all new stuff — it’s about being surrounded with things that are familiar but with an occasional novel bit. We don’t remember the melody because it’s familiar; we remember it because it’s novel, but not too novel.
If you repeat everything, it gets boring. And if you changed everything, it would feel erratic."