Freewrite: Songs stuck in head

The seed for this Freewrite is “Songs stuck in head.”  OK… fifteen minutes on the clock.  GO!

I find it quite amusing when songs get stuck in people’s heads.  Sometimes, it can be a song that they just heard for the first time.  Maybe they like it, and can’t figure it out, or it is just somewhat catchy.  That has happened to me many times, whether hearing it on the radio, as part of Muzak, or perhaps other ways as well.  The phenomenon is quite phenomenal, actually.

I chose this as the seed today because I had the song “Eagle Point Overture” stuck in my head, alternating with “Bryce Canyon Overture.”  Both of those were songs that I played in band, respectively in eighth and sixth grades.  They have contrasting parts: the first and third “verses” if you will both have a majestic feel to them, with a stately feel.  The middle “verse” of each song is slower and somewhat thought-provoking.

Of the latter, I actually memorized it so that I didn’t have to read the music for my final concert in sixth grade.  It was inspired by earlier in the year, when Kusi Taki came to Humann for a performance, and they had told us that you can sometimes “feel” the music better if you memorize it and play with your eyes closed.  I indeed tried that, and I think it helped the song stick to me even more, even fourteen years (!!) later.

Sometimes, you hear a song somewhere, and it will then get stuck in your head whenever you are in that situation, OR when you think about said situation.  In some ways, it reminds me of how different areas of movies or video games or suchlike media have music that seem to vary by scene, area, or such.  I think that the music according to the situation is a wonderful addition, and it must be part of the human psyche to want music that fits in well with the situation.

Whoops!  My keyboard is going haywire.  That sometimes happens with a laptop computer.  Anyway, that is completely off topic, but sometimes with the freewrite, whatever comes to your head first is what should be written down.  Things can always be edited out later, but part of the idea of a freewrite is that it is essentially a stream of consciousness.  Keep writing, and see what comes up.

Returning to songs stuck in my head, it seems that I could make this into a homily about my various songs (in essence, a Musical Memories post in prose rather than list form).  But, I feel that would be too structured.  Instead, I want to delve into some songs or non-songs that get stuck in my head.

Etudes.  They are short “songs” that have various reasonable facets to practice.  One that frequently gets stuck in my head is one from middle school, that I played for a grade and chair placement, and did not do very well on it.  Even so, it got stuck in my head, though perhaps that is just it haunting me long after the fact.  So it goes!  I don’t recall the name of the etude, but it was a practice in different combinations of notes in measures, as well as some tricky (for me at that time) fingerings on the trumpet.

And then one “song” which is not really a song, but instead is a repetitive sound effect, that frequently gets stuck in my head.  During my first chemistry lab in Chem 113 at UNL, there was stirring involved, and because I wanted to stir and it was making noise, I started intentionally stirring with contact against the sides of the beaker, and started getting into a rhythm.  With the “dinging” and the stirring, I somewhat made a beat and melody (not really a melody) playing through my head.

One more “song” that gets stuck in my head is something that I can’t really describe without humming it aloud, and that is very difficult to do in words on a blog.  It was something that somehow came into my mind when I was at Kansas during the summer after my eighth grade year for Duke TIP.  On some nights when I was studying or in downtime, especially when inventing my card game “diamonds,” I had this song playing through my head, and eventually started humming it.

Sometimes, I played the songs that I had stuck in my head on the piano.  This was how I found out about the name of the song “Chariots of Fire.”  I always associate that song with standardized testing, instead of the movie or the Olympics.  For whatever reason, it popped into my head when I was taking standardized tests in my sixth grade class toward the end of the year.


Out of time.  Try and do better next time!  (Apologies to the PTI guys.)


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