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My wife has a song stuck in her head and I don't know the song, though I know I have heard it, since it is from a film we've both seen.

If it was a image, I would say 'I can't picture that.' What is the analogous way to express that nothing comes to mind when I attempt to recall sound? Obviously, I could say exactly that, but I mean something analogous to the single word 'picture' as a verb. This question is sparked by the fact my actual response to her was 'I can't picture that song,' but of course I can't picture a song. No one can picture a song unless they have synesthesia.

I tried looking on Google and the closest that came up was the use of the term 'sonification' as analogous to 'visualization,' but I believe that was just made up for someone's PhD thesis (it definitely does not seem correct to say I can't 'sonify' a song). I suppose I could just say 'I don't remember what it sounds like,' which is perfectly correct, but I'm wondering if there is a more succinct way to express this idea for senses other than vision.

marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach Jan 1 '16 at 22:54

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  • 1
    I don't think there's a word, I'd just say "I can hear it in my head" – Barmar Jan 1 '16 at 22:40
  • "grok" (which is, however, more general) – Greg Lee Jan 1 '16 at 22:41
  • The link Andrew posted works, although it's words I've never heard before. I'm curious how he found it. I used the site's search feature and checked all of the threads marked similar before posting and nothing remotely related came up. – Adam Acosta Jan 2 '16 at 1:07
  • Fun fact since you're asking for a single-word-request: your wife has a "song stuck in her head", that's an earworm – wizclown Nov 7 '18 at 20:33

Perhaps "to conjure up a tonal image" is what you're looking for.

  • Music teachers and some musicians talk about audiation as the act of imagining music without hearing it played or sung. The ability to audiate is important to many musical skills, e.g. sight singing. A good composer is able to audiate a song in his head before writing it down or playing it. – user227547 Apr 19 '17 at 3:29

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