The whole business of hummability, of course, has to do with familiarity. If you hear a tune enough times, you'll hum it. You know, you can the first time I heard the Berg violin concerto, I thought what is this noise? And the third time I heard it, I thought oh, that's interesting. And the fifth time I heard it, I was humming along with it.There's a lot to learn from listening this interview with Stephen Sondheim that was on Fresh Air on April 21st. Here's the transcript.
And I remember being at the intermission of "A Little Night Music" when it first came out and hearing somebody say oh, that "Weekend in the Country" is such a catchy tune. Well, you know, very few people accuse me of writing catchy tunes, and of course it was a catchy tune. She just heard 11 choruses of it, and so of course she could hum it.
I've often said familiarity breeds content.