Ohrwurm Turns Earworms into Musical Fun

Chances are that you’ve experienced “earworm” at least once in your life. That’s the phenomenon, charming or aggravating, in which you get a song stuck in your head for a length of time. (I once had “The Girl From Ipanema” trapped in my brain for four days straight and I will never forgive it.) The term “earworm” is actually an exact English translation of the German word Ohrwurm. Some people say that the only true cure for earworm is to replace it with a new earworm, and that’s where the game Ohrwurm can help.


Available exclusively for iOS devices, Ohrwurm is the invention of Lithuanian solo developer Aidas Bendoraitis. Featuring one hundred distinct levels, Ohrwurm is, in the words of its creator, “a game of skill where you train your perfect pitch and musical memory.” Perfect pitch, Bendoraitis adds, is the ability to learn and understand musical sounds and recognize notes. It turns music into something like a language in your mind.


Each level plays out in the same fashion, with increasing difficulty as you progress. The game plays a short melody which must then be replicated using the in-game keyboard. Each note has its own distinct color, allowing players to “associate sounds not only with key position, but also with the color.” A progress bar marks their success as they play each piece correctly. Each time the players completes ten levels, they’ll unlock an achievement in the form of an inspirational quote.


Those interested can download Ohrwurm today from the Apple App Store for 4,99 €. It requires iOS 6.0 or later, and is recommended for iPads. See what other tunes you can get stuck in your head by checking out the game’s Facebook and Twitter.

Laura, to borrow a phrase from Metal Gear Solid 3, has one good eye and can still fire a gun. She refers to herself as a "video dame," and has been an avid gamer on various platforms since she first picked up a Pong controller over 30 years ago. She takes great delight in explaining different games to her husband.

  • Aidas Bendoraitis

    Now Ohrwurm game is available on both, iPads and iPhones, and there is a dedicated website for it: