Profile, research details & links

Sarah Thirtle


Hunting the earworm: songwriting and involuntary musical imagery

A little over 90% of people experience earworms, or Involuntary Musical Imagery (INMI), in their lives, when segments of songs will seem to pop into heads and repeat over and over.

My practice-based research will delve into how songwriting seeks, engages, interacts and responds to INMI. It will investigate and provide evidence for how earworms and involuntarily extemporised lyrics or melodies influence or inform unconscious creative ideation, creative flow and the conscious songwriting process. Also, it will explore and map the relationship between writing the ‘hook’ in popular song and the experience, or harnessing, of involuntarily ‘heard’ music.



LinkedIn: Sarah Thirtle

Twitter: @Sarah_Thirtle


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