herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Science behind sing-along favourites

CATCHY tunes have a scientific 'X factor' that make them sing-along hits, experts have revealed.

Researchers wanted to know why certain songs inspired unabashed wedding guests and clubbers to belt out their favourites in public.

They solved the karaoke conundrum after observing thousands of volunteers as they lent their voices to a long list of tunes.

Sing-along songs contained four key elements, the scientists discovered.

These were: long and detailed musical phrases, multiple pitch changes in a song's 'hook', male vocalists, and higher male voices making a noticeable vocal effort.

Using this formula, the researchers then compiled a list of the 10 most sing-along-able hits.

Number one was We Are The Champions by Queen.

Next were YMCA by Village People, Fat Lip by Sum 41, The Final Countdown by Europe, and Monster by The Automatic.

Music psychologist Dr Daniel Mullensiefen said: "Every musical hit is reliant on maths, science, engineering and technology.

"We've discovered that there's a science behind the sing-along and a special combination of neuroscience, maths and cognitive psychology can produce the elusive elixir of the perfect sing-along song.

"We hope that our study will inspire musicians of the future to crack the equation for the textbook tune."

hnews@herald.ie

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