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fiddlerpianist
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22 Jun 2009, 8:01 am

I can't recall the last time my head didn't have a tune going around in it. It's nonstop. Though I can concentrate on other things, it's still there going on in the back of my head. It's more than just an "earworm"; it's different music from day to day (and often hour to hour). My musical brain works very strongly by association, so if something sounds like something else, it's possible it will be the next thing stuck in my head.

This isn't a form of schizophrenia, is it? Does this happen to anyone else?


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22 Jun 2009, 8:30 am

My son hears music-I was curious about it and looked it up on line and all the info seemed focused on mental illness. I don't buy it though. I think some peoples brains are just more creative. He also says there is a movie behind his eyes whenever he closes them. I used to see quite a bit of imagery but less so after meds. Now I have to be in alpha state. I've come to the conclusion that there is no particular meaning behind the images, just the flotsam and jetsam of my stream of consciousness. I have heard a few musicians state that they hear their compositions in their entirety in their head and they just write them down. Last one I remember was John Mellencamp. I'm curious though about music in your head and images. On rare occasion I have closed my eyes and seen a very clear image that stays stationary so it's like looking at a photograph (mostly they change constantly) do you hear the music the same way? BTW my son says the music he hears he's never heard before.



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22 Jun 2009, 8:33 am

fiddlerpianist wrote:
I can't recall the last time my head didn't have a tune going around in it. It's nonstop. Though I can concentrate on other things, it's still there going on in the back of my head. It's more than just an "earworm"; it's different music from day to day (and often hour to hour). My musical brain works very strongly by association, so if something sounds like something else, it's possible it will be the next thing stuck in my head.

This isn't a form of schizophrenia, is it? Does this happen to anyone else?


I'm in the same boat.

Quote:
This isn't a form of schizophrenia, is it?

I was hoping it was, then I could get some meds to make it stop!


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scorpileo
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22 Jun 2009, 8:44 am

I have somthing like that... but I have a compulsion to verbalise the music this can get annoying. I also see pictures and such like.....


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fiddlerpianist
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22 Jun 2009, 9:25 am

Aimless wrote:
He also says there is a movie behind his eyes whenever he closes them. I used to see quite a bit of imagery but less so after meds. Now I have to be in alpha state. I've come to the conclusion that there is no particular meaning behind the images, just the flotsam and jetsam of my stream of consciousness....I'm curious though about music in your head and images. On rare occasion I have closed my eyes and seen a very clear image that stays stationary so it's like looking at a photograph (mostly they change constantly) do you hear the music the same way?

I don't usually get images, but sometimes I "see" colors with the tune. I mean, I don't literally see the colors, I can just feel them sort of... more of a loose association than anything else. I've been told that I have mild synesthesia.

Sometimes I see the musicians playing the tune I'm hearing. Sometimes they are memories of actually playing the tune, sometimes they are made up places. I imagine the people that I heard the tune from playing it in a tiny little pub on the west coast of Ireland or performing it on stage.

Aimless wrote:
I have heard a few musicians state that they hear their compositions in their entirety in their head and they just write them down.

I can do this from time to time, but more often than not I string phrases together out of my head that sound good. If I put my fiddle in my hands, I can spew forth random phrases automatically... sort of a stream of consciousness of my mind. Sometimes it is "flotsam and jetsam" but sometimes there is a gem or two floating there. When I write a tune, I stick a bunch of these gems together.

Aimless wrote:
BTW my son says the music he hears he's never heard before.

Schumann described something similar towards the end of his life. He called it the "music of angels" and it was beautiful beyond words to him. He tried to write some of it down, but it's hard to say if it was ever fully conveyed.

The music in my head is almost always memories of something that I've heard recently, or is built from an association of something that I heard recently. They're not just shadows of memories, though; they are usually "CD-like" in quality in that I hear absolutely everything about the recording that's "playing" my head. (I think sunshower describes a similar effect, except that her library is more detailed than mine...)


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22 Jun 2009, 9:59 am

I strongly identify with this idea.

Beyond simply having a "tune stuck in your head", I will often hear elements of music I've never heard before... Like different instrumental "tracks" to some new song, that will play in isolation, but over time appear to merge together into something recognizable. When I'm at my best, I can even translate this stuff to an instrument, usually guitar or keyboard.

If some people hear voices that suggest things to them,
then I hear bits of music that "suggest" the building blocks of songs.

Whatever this is, it's a wonderful thing 8)


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22 Jun 2009, 10:00 am

fiddlerpianist wrote:
This isn't a form of schizophrenia, is it? Does this happen to anyone else?


I get pieces of song stuck in my head about half a dozen times a day, I suppose. Each usually lasts until the next one comes along; sometimes I will have several at the same time, and there is almost always at least one, even if I am fully occupied doing something. I think this sort of rate is uncommonly high, but I've never seen any research on the subject; it would be interesting to know.

I never get any pictures, impressions of the original artists, or anything like that, sadly. I do hear lyrics as originally sung, unless the song in question is something that I am very used to singing myself and have adapted to my unimpressive vocal range.


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22 Jun 2009, 10:55 am

fiddlerpianist wrote:
The music in my head is almost always memories of something that I've heard recently, or is built from an association of something that I heard recently. They're not just shadows of memories, though; they are usually "CD-like" in quality in that I hear absolutely everything about the recording that's "playing" my head. (I think sunshower describes a similar effect, except that her library is more detailed than mine...)


Yes, I have the same effect. Except it's not 24/7 with me (but very close to it - generally whenever I'm not focussed strongly on something, and often even when I am focussed strongly on something, music starts playing in my head and distract me). When I get really intently focussed on something else, the music doesn't play (because I have a one track mind). When it's playing sometimes I can force it to stop or change tracks, sometimes I can't.

Like you said, I sometimes hear combinations of different songs, or my own inventions (though this is rarer). I often hear the same sections of songs over and over, but if I consciously focus I can play whatever song I choose from start to end.

I often hear different songs for different times of day even depending on my mood - like when I first wake up nearly every day I either hear a couple of stanzas from the "Pooh bear" theme tune if I'm feeling particularly up and cheery and go get it, or if I'm feeling a little more irritable and "erg" I hear a couple of stanzas from the old Playschool theme song (don't ask me why it's children's television shows).

Sometimes it's stuff I've been listening to recently, and sometimes it's old stuff - stuff I heard years ago, playing through my head at different times of the day. When I feel like it I could just burst into song and start humming from where I'm up to, but I generally don't these days - I got told off too much for constantly doing it when I was younger, and formed a habit not to. :lol:


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22 Jun 2009, 11:05 am

sunshower wrote:
fiddlerpianist wrote:
The music in my head is almost always memories of something that I've heard recently, or is built from an association of something that I heard recently. They're not just shadows of memories, though; they are usually "CD-like" in quality in that I hear absolutely everything about the recording that's "playing" my head. (I think sunshower describes a similar effect, except that her library is more detailed than mine...)


Sometimes it's stuff I've been listening to recently, and sometimes it's old stuff - stuff I heard years ago, playing through my head at different times of the day.


Like the pooh bear theme song. I haven't actually heard that since I was a little kid, but it still plays regularly in my head on bright mornings.

Acacia: I do this also - where I add original parts to songs, but I more tend to do it out loud - although consciously I can do it in my head. I can harmonize (vocally - voice is my instrument) to anything I hear on the spot, which is a useful skill to have.

My friend and I would busk Christmas carols, and she would sing the melodies to 20 or 30 and I would make up alto/sop/whatever I chose (though I generally go with alto cause she sings sop) harmonies on the spot to go with them. Mostly I only need to sing each harmony once or so and I know it and can repeat it.

Aimless: what you said about the "movie behind the eyes" - I do that too to go with songs, both consciously and unconsciously, where I invent an entire movie quality music video to go with whatever song I'm hearing. And I do it with my eyes open - so I guess you could say I am almost sleepwalking :lol: (I get called "vague" a lot, and when I was younger people used to get a laugh by waving their hands in front of my face and I wouldn't notice).


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fiddlerpianist
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22 Jun 2009, 11:43 am

sunshower wrote:
Like you said, I sometimes hear combinations of different songs, or my own inventions (though this is rarer). I often hear the same sections of songs over and over, but if I consciously focus I can play whatever song I choose from start to end.

Yes, exactly. I don't really hear the music when I'm focused on something, but I still have this feeling that it's still going in my head. It picks up very clearly when I stop focusing.

sunshower wrote:
Sometimes it's stuff I've been listening to recently, and sometimes it's old stuff - stuff I heard years ago, playing through my head at different times of the day.

Yup. Usually the old stuff was triggered by a musical association of some kind. This is one of the reasons that I can't stand any kind of smooth jazz or incidental music forced onto my ears. It's extraordinarily intrusive and screws with my personal associations. I have to walk by a theatre that blasts music of Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons every day, so I cover my ears and sing the tune in my head out loud so that the intrusive music doesn't "cover over" mine. I won't dial into meetings until the presented has called in, that way avoiding the hold music.

sunshower wrote:
When I feel like it I could just burst into song and start humming from where I'm up to, but I generally don't these days - I got told off too much for constantly doing it when I was younger, and formed a habit not to. :lol:

I got into trouble once for sitting in the back of math class and humming to myself. That was event that caused my third grade teacher to suggest to my mother that I be "tested." Fortunately, that never materialized.


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22 Jun 2009, 11:54 am

Hahaha yes I used to sing constantly, and it would drive people up the wall. And then when I made a friend who liked singing too, we'd sing together in the hallways at school and I'd harmonize to her.

On and off over the years I made friends who could sing, and convinced them to sing two part songs with me (they'd do melody, i'd do harmony) while walking places. Sometimes I'd even be lucky enough to gather up groups of 3 or 4, and we'd sing 3/4 part which was great! I convinced my brother a few years ago to pick up chorale, and now he sometimes sings with me. :)


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fiddlerpianist
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22 Jun 2009, 12:05 pm

sunshower wrote:
Hahaha yes I used to sing constantly, and it would drive people up the wall. And then when I made a friend who liked singing too, we'd sing together in the hallways at school and I'd harmonize to her.

On and off over the years I made friends who could sing, and convinced them to sing two part songs with me (they'd do melody, i'd do harmony) while walking places. Sometimes I'd even be lucky enough to gather up groups of 3 or 4, and we'd sing 3/4 part which was great! I convinced my brother a few years ago to pick up chorale, and now he sometimes sings with me. :)

I love harmonizing. I do it more with twin fiddling these days, but singing harmonies are always fun, especially if they are close together. I kind of wished I had sung in more early music ensembles in college. Those harmonies, back before there was formal tonality, are so incredibly fascinating! I think it's one of the reasons I love Irish music so much. For the most part it's tonal, but then there are tunes which are only loosely based in tonality... and they are so much fun!


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22 Jun 2009, 12:16 pm

Music pretty much plays in my head all the time, sometimes it can stop me concentrating but usually I'm okay with it.


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22 Jun 2009, 12:25 pm

I hear music too. When it's a song I HATE I get really irritated. I also can turn movies off and on in my head, or make up my own. I have an extremely vivid imagination, where I can actually see what I want happening, anything really. It's kinda cool though. The music gets annoying sometimes, but the movies are kinda cool. I don't have to close my eyes though to see it. :D



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22 Jun 2009, 12:34 pm

fiddlerpianist wrote:
I love harmonizing.

I love harmonizing, but I can't even sing! :D

PrincessMR1899 wrote:
When it's a song I HATE I get really irritated.

I often have songs running round in my head, so i keep my stereo on a certain cd, to keep my mind off the songs I hate!