do you ever hear non-existent music in the sounds of a fan or motor?

I've been running a desk fan at night while I sleep, and often I'll wake up in the night & hear very clearly what sounds like a song playing faintly outside. it isn't real though, and as far as I know they aren't actual songs. I imagine it's my brain picking up repetitions in the complex noise of the fan & filtering it selectively & somewhat imaginatively. I can hear it slightly better if I focus on it, but only up to a point.

the neat part is just how much it sounds like a real song (albeit faint & muffled). I can often pick up vocals and rhythm, and sometimes specific instruments as well. my brain really fills a lot in once it gets going (I'm sure being in that liminal middle-of-the-night brainspace helps too).

I haven't ever checked out a spectrograph of fan sounds, but I bet they're perfect for this illusion. they seem to have a wide spread of noise frequencies, with repeating oscillations at varying rates

I had something similar to this happen this morning, although it was probably more of a sleep paralysis hallucination. I was hearing a dramatic orchestral piece & fighting to wake up & confirm that it wasn't actually coming from outside.

I finally did wake, and the music disappeared. Satisfied, I dozed back off & it started playing again, so I just let it, trying to encourage it to be as complex & rich as I could.

@nashhigh I absolutely experience this, especially now that my bedroom is full of white noise at night. I suppose it could be considered an occurrence of pareidolia.

@nashhigh yes! I had to switch sounds on my white noise machine because the nonexistent song inside the thunderstorm sound kept getting louder

@Louisa oh noo!! yeah sometimes my fan songs keep me awake a little


i (really) hear music in the sounds around me all the time ...

isn't music just interesting sounds anyway ... (maybe or maybe not)

i know what you mean about motors (i sometimes hear melodies within) too

i think it's a gift- but it could be mostly a perspective

thx for bringing it up!

@nashhigh Yep. And I often have to pause the music I'm listening to, so I can discern what is the music and what is my refrigerator.

@nashhigh Yes, very often. Sometimes it gives me interesting musical ideas.

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