Friday 2 December 2016

Science behind sing-along revealed

Published 29/09/2011 | 00:11

We are the Champions by Queen was voted the most 'sing-along-able' tune
We are the Champions by Queen was voted the most 'sing-along-able' tune

Catchy tunes have a scientific "X-factor" that make them sing-along hits, experts have revealed.

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Researchers wanted to know why certain songs inspired unabashed wedding guests and clubbers to belt out their favourites in public.

They solved the karaoke conundrum after observing thousands of volunteers as they lent their voices to a long list of tunes.

Sing-along songs contained four key elements, the scientists discovered.

These were: long and detailed musical phrases, multiple pitch changes in a song's "hook", male vocalists, and higher male voices making a noticeable vocal effort.

Using this formula, the researchers then compiled a list of the 10 most sing-along-able hits.

Number One was "We are the Champions" by rock group Queen.

Taking the next five places in the sing-along chart were Y.M.C.A by Village People, Fat Lip by Sum 41, The Final Countdown by Europe, and Monster by The Automatic.

Music psychologist Dr Daniel Mullensiefen, from Goldsmiths University of London, said: "Every musical hit is reliant on maths, science, engineering and technology; from the physics and frequencies of sound that determine pitch and harmony, to the hi-tech digital processors and synthesisers which can add effects to make a song more catchy."

The findings were released to coincide with the final call for entries to the 2012 National Science & Engineering Competition which is open to young people undertaking science and technology projects.

Press Association

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