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Just four factors in formula for sing-along success

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

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

They solved the karaoke conundrum after observing thousands of volunteers.

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 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."

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.

Irish Independent