Prepare to have your mind blown! It seems there’s a big reason why we love to listen to tracks on repeat or with repetitive rhythms and phrases, despite what our parents might have said it is more than ‘just an endless beat.’
Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis is director of the music cognition lab at the University of Arkansas and she has written an article for Aeon Magazine on why the brain loves to hear repetition in music.
She writes “Repetition is so powerfully linked with musicality that its application can dramatically transform apparently non-musical materials into song.”
She then goes on to demonstrate using the speech-to-sound illusion, discovered by Diana Deutsch, UC San Diego. Listen to them both one after the other and discover how an ordinary spoken phrase is transformed into an almost sung phrase when parts of the phrase are repeated.
Then listen to the spoken phrase in the second clip and it now seems to have magically been transformed into a sung phrase.
The effect is almost other-worldly and just goes to demonstrate the wonderfully magical world of audio.
Article: Aeon Magazine
Audio Test: Diana Deutsch