So, I was interested to read in the following piece on Brian Wilson (late of The Beach Boys)* that Wilson hears music in his head all the time. The article casually mentions that the same is true of some five percent of the population,** then goes on to treat this as if it's freakishly rare (e.g., calling it a 'rare phenomenon').
I wonder if that's true. While I don't have Wilson's talent as a performer or genius as a songwriter, certainly I hear music all the time. It's like having a soundtrack to your own life; it's always there in the background, though I can focus on it to see what song's playing at any given time. What some people experience as 'earworms' happens to me all the time, except without the annoyance factor; it's almost always music I like that I hear. I can deliberately choose a specific song, but when I'm not paying attention the music proceeds on its own for reasons of its own. And when I 'tune in' it can take a while for me to recognize which song is playing: it can be pretty much anything from the hook from 'Clap for the Wolfman' to 'Rhapsody in Blue' in its entirety.
So, the article's rather disappointing,*** but the subject is interesting. Here's the link:
current reading: "The Lovely Gods" and "God's Drinking Party" (Canaanite Myths from Ugarit)
*and subject of a poignant tribute by Bare Naked Ladies, simply called 'Brian Wilson' (from their first album, GORDON )
**which these days is what, about a third of a billion people?
***for example, for me the music is one of three things going on in my mind at any given time, and it doesn't make any mention at all of something like that.