Sunday, August 29, 2010

A wake-up call

Yesterday on my way in to the gym to do Zumba I had the radio on and they were playing Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture."

Listening to it -- which I did, actively, even though like everyone else I have heard it a million times -- I started thinking how good Tchaikovsky was. I mean, here I am listening to this thing and enjoying it. It is such a kick, that music. And how it ends with the cannons and the church bells -- it could be awful and cloying but it is not, it works, it's fun.

But that is not really what this is about. Here is what this is about:

This is something I figured out when I was a kid and it is still true. We may call it, ahem, Kunz Goldman's Law.

The first thing that you hear in the morning will stick with you all day.

I go into Zumba class and here all this hip-hop and Latin music and whatever. And one problem with this Zumba music is how it sticks in your head. In class it is fun but when you wake up at night and this music is rolling around in your head, it can get annoying. But yesterday, the Zumba music melted away right after I left the gym and all that was left was the "1812 Overture."

After that I went garage sale-ing with my mom and we played the radio and different things came up, but when I went home there it still was, Tchaikovsky.

I went to hear Jackie Jocko down at the Hyatt but that "1812" stayed in my head.

When I went to bed it was still there!

The Germans call them "Ohrwuermer," or "ear worms," these tunes that get into your head and you cannot shake them. I think some people are more prone to them than others. I hear whole recordings in my head. It can be useful but sometimes it can drive you crazy.

And, so often, the thing on your brain will be the first thing you heard in the morning.

Be careful what you let in!


  1. Sometimes those ear worms drive me crazy! At least you have a good one in there today! Each time my husband's cell phone buzzes that stupid McDonald's "Filet-o-Fish" jingle starts in my head and it won't go away...Give me that Filet-O-Fish....AAAAAAAAAAAAG!!

  2. More often than not, my ear worm will be a passage from a piece that I'm practicing, then the spot I'd been having trouble with will work.

  3. Janie, my sympathy!! The McDonald's jingle sounds like the equivalent of some of my Zumba songs. One day I actually had Usher on the brain: "Baby got the booty like wow oh wow..." AWFUL! (But I have lost 7 pounds.)

  4. Prof. G, that is a great concept, constructive ear worms! Howard says that helps him with his jazz playing, to have a song going through his head at night. A practice piece running through my head doesn't work for me. It just drives me crazy. Alas.