Hearing music in your head- is this an Asperger's thing?

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CallMeAllie
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05 Nov 2011, 11:09 pm

If I listen to a lot of music, sometimes it comes back to bite me. When I'm falling asleep or just waking up, sometimes I'll hear music in my head.

I DON'T mean like getting a song stuck in your head. That's annoying but this is worse. I'm literally hearing music in my head, exact notes and everything.

I have no control over what song plays, and can't turn it off. It freaks me out. Sometimes it's music I've just heard recently, sometimes a song I haven't heard in months.

I'll be honest: sometimes I avoid listening to music because I don't like this happening to me.

Does anyone else have this and is it an Asperger's thing, or not? (I have "mild Asperger's.)



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05 Nov 2011, 11:36 pm

It's a human thing. It wouldn't surprise me if other species experience the same thing too.


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johnsmcjohn
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06 Nov 2011, 12:18 am

I hear music from the time I get up to the time I go to sleep. The only thing I can do about it is listen to a song I like and hope it gets embedded. This works about half the time.



questor
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06 Nov 2011, 12:40 am

Having music playing in your mind happens to most or all humans. In my case, sometimes I will pick something to play in my brain, but most of the time it plays random snatches of tunes. Much of the time my brain will start playing something based on association. A word or phrase that I am reading, or hear on the radio will immediately trigger a tune that is associated to it in some way. I don't let it get to me. If a tune gets "stuck" in my mind, and starts to annoy me, then I just hit my mental "jukebox" and play a different mental tune. There are a lot of tunes to pick from, so have fun with it. I like patriotic tunes, some classical, some early rock, some show tunes, and some folk and popular tunes. There are also some TV show and movie themes I like. I also like some Irish music, Polka, and other ethnic music. One of my favorite CDs is the music from "Henry the V". My sister gave me the cassette for that years ago, and kept the CD. By the time I wore out the cassette, she had lost interest in that music, so she sent me the CD.

Music can be a great mood booster, as can exercise, and humor. Because of health problems my ability to exercise is very limited, but I can listen to all the music I want. I also listen to funny old radio shows, and sometimes watch old comedy movies and TV shows that I have on DVDs, so I get a good dose of humor, too.

Just have fun with your mental music show. After all, it's your head, so you can always change what's playing.

Remember, we on the spectrum are all:

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If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
Perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears,
However measured or far away.

--Henry David Thoreau



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06 Nov 2011, 1:07 am

I'm obsessed with music anyway, and I feel like I hear entire unheard symphonies banging around up there.

I wanted to be a composer starting about 6th grade so I could get all this music out of my head. I got started about 9th grade, mostly step and pattern sequencing and otherwise just improvising. I started getting good at it in my graduate studies and now finally feel like I can write anything I imagine. I'm proud to say that I've taken time to work on my sound design and synth programming skills and can fairly accurately represent what's going on in my head, even when it involves sounds that have never been heard before.



Burnbridge
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06 Nov 2011, 1:27 am

Happens to me a lot. Not 24/7, but often. I hear entire songs, all the parts at once. I also hear complementary parts in recordings that are playing on a stereo ... parts that aren't on the recording, and I thought they were.

I do not believe this to be a common "everyone does this" thing.

Yes, most everyone can recall songs or melodies or lyrics. But typically the human recollecting it is only "hearing" one instrument in the mix at any given moment: A couple words, then a bass hook, then a drum fill, then some words then a guitar riff, and so on. Sequential. I hear simultaneous parts, and often cannot distinguish them from external stimulus.

I've had conversations with many (100ish?) musicians about the depth of hearing memory, and most of them believe me to be either insane or a liar when I describe this to them. They can all recollect many songs in great detail; that is not the same as hearing it entirely in your head.

The association trigger that questor describes, however, is incredibly common. I also have that very strongly ... a single word or image will trigger a pop song. I don't even realize I'm doing it, many times I catch myself humming the melody without thinking and then realize it's related to the situation.


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Shebakoby
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06 Nov 2011, 2:13 am

CallMeAllie wrote:
If I listen to a lot of music, sometimes it comes back to bite me. When I'm falling asleep or just waking up, sometimes I'll hear music in my head.

I DON'T mean like getting a song stuck in your head. That's annoying but this is worse. I'm literally hearing music in my head, exact notes and everything.

I have no control over what song plays, and can't turn it off. It freaks me out. Sometimes it's music I've just heard recently, sometimes a song I haven't heard in months.

I'll be honest: sometimes I avoid listening to music because I don't like this happening to me.

Does anyone else have this and is it an Asperger's thing, or not? (I have "mild Asperger's.)

I get it too, but not always. It depends. It's like my internal MP3 player suddenly decided to go on random shuffle.



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06 Nov 2011, 2:16 am

Sometimes that happens to me when I'm really tired. It freaks me out and makes me feel kind of schizophrenic. 8O



Zokk
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06 Nov 2011, 3:29 am

That happens to me from time to time, mostly when I have nothing to readily focus on when I'm tired or sleepy. It can be any genre, too; rock; orchestral, electronic, whatever. When it does, I really wish I had the musical training to be able to transcribe it, but I don't, so I often lose it in my other thought processes, and it's like grasping at straws to try to hold onto it somehow.


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Angel_ryan
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06 Nov 2011, 4:14 am

I can hear my fav songs in my head, but I also listen to music religiously because it helps me control my moods. I spend several hours a day listening to music.



Last edited by Angel_ryan on 06 Nov 2011, 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

oshibka
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06 Nov 2011, 4:16 am

This usually happens to me during long car/bus rides. I don't think it's a uniquely Aspie thing though.



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06 Nov 2011, 7:07 am

I've had that happen to me lots of times. I also think that it happens to a lot of people and not just people who are on the spectrum.


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jamieevren1210
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06 Nov 2011, 7:55 am

I like it...hey, think of it as a free mp3!
But it appeared on the aspie test when I took it.
Maybe it's more pronounced in we spectrum people.



hanyo
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06 Nov 2011, 8:09 am

I'm not sure if this is the same thing but I remember at least once in reform school my mind took the white noise from the heating vent and I could "hear" a song I knew, like a faint radio signal was coming out of the heating vent.



diniesaur
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06 Nov 2011, 8:17 am

Like some of the other posters, I have music in my head that sometimes is completely new--it will be music I am naturally composing. There are recurring songs that I compose, and ones that happen randomly. I also sometimes hear my own variations on songs that are played (like marching band versions of them, etc.), but sometimes I just hear regular songs made by someone else. I love the music in my head, and sometimes I can cause it to play different music on purpose, like some of the other posters.



stumbelina
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06 Nov 2011, 8:31 am

I hear music in my head all the time.. I'm putting it to good use, as I've just bought Logic 8. Now I can try and make it :)