Hooked on Music

I’ve delved a little into geekery over the last couple of weeks.

To be honest, as a knitter, gamer (though Mr GFB is currently hogging the PS4) with a slight zombie obsession, who has worked in academia for the last *mumble mumble* years, and with a heavy interest in WISET, what else could I call myself but a geek?

Science gets me excited. Curious. I am insatiably nosey. If I get chatting to you I’ll ask you questions. And questions. And, well, questions. I want to understand what you do, what you’re like, I want to know everything. (though I understand if you tell me to sod off).

And please don’t tell me it’s impossible. I know this. It doesn’t stop me wanting to though.

So when both friends and the Museum of Science & Industry mentioned the new online game, #HookedOnMusic – well of course, I needed to have a look see.


The game itself was launched at the Manchester Science Festival last year and having some friends involved in it’s development. It aims to use the power of music, of that musical hook, to understand how music affects our brains and, in turn how this can help those suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease and serious memory loss.

To understand, how powerful it can be, I recalled this video that I saw a couple of years ago.

The emotional response to music, the cognitive response, is powerful. Powerful enough to make me want to join in with the project – even if it wasn’t fun.

It’s rather addictive. The games have had me singing, or humming at my desk for a few days now.

It was created by computational musicologist Dr John Ashley Burgoyne and his team at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht, along with the support of citizen science expert and Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, Erinma Ochu.

At the Science Festival last year, the aim was to identify and nominate the catchiest tune – the hook that makes a tune catchy. Celebrities and the general public alike nominated tunes – all in the name of science. These tunes are now part of the live online game #HookedonMusic.


And as part of the research MOSI and the team behind the project need as many people as possible to play the game. And it’s easy. Listen to a tune and recognise it as quick as you can. Or compare two segments of one track and decide which is catchier.

There’s no trivia, no questions on artists or lyrics, it’s all about the music. That’s why it’s so addictive.

And explains why I’ve been singing Maggie May for a week.

The more people play, the more the scientists will learn.

So, if you’re at a loose end this lunchtime…. How about a little game?

One thought on “Hooked on Music

  1. That was brilliant BS. Thanks for sharing. Just heard it mentioned on R4, found your link above and have been lost in it for about an hour!

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