In Germany there is a thing we call "Kopfkino". It consists of two words, Kopf = Head and Kino = cinema.

The English equivalent should be daydreaming for this. Most of the time you just explore your mind or picture a certain scene different. These two scenarios happen "visually".

But sometimes I'm just having the aurally part of this experience, in which I can start a beat playing in my head or even choose a song to hear. These scenarios only happen aurally and in a focused or normal state of mind.

Is there a word or phrase for not daydreaming but some sort of "phantom hearing"?

  • We generally say to hear music in one's head. German doesn't have a word for it, so why even mention German ?? – Lambie May 14 '18 at 18:22
  • "Song stuck in my head" is a similar concept, but I don't think that is how I read your question. I feel like I've heard author's say things "queue the violin music" ... like disc jokey's started up vinyl track over the air. – Tom22 May 14 '18 at 18:34
  • @Lambie, i thought i would help answering my question, as the word by word translation is pretty clear and implies a visually perception – Pulle May 15 '18 at 8:05
  • aural imagination versus visual imagination, and it is not a disease. I don't see why you chose a hallucinatory thing as your answer. – Lambie May 15 '18 at 16:48
  • 'earworm' is in the space if it happens with a catchy tune. But it is simply an artifact of heredity: some people are more visual and some more auditory. I always here music when falling asleep, not visual dreams. Check out 'hypnagogic hallucination'. – eSurfsnake Oct 8 '18 at 3:52

You will have to judge for yourself whether this relates to yourself but a 'paracusia' is an auditory hallucination.

I note that you 'start' the beat playing or 'choose' the song to hear so it is clearly not involuntary for yourself.

A paracusia, or auditory hallucination,1 is a form of hallucination that involves perceiving sounds without auditory stimulus.

A common form of auditory hallucination involves hearing one or more talking voices. This may be associated with psychotic disorders, and holds special significance in diagnosing these conditions.2 However, individuals without any psychiatric disease whatsoever may hear voices.[3]


Paracusia : auditory hallucination: A hallucination involving the perception of sounds arising from outside of the head, most commonly of voices, in absence of auditory stimuli, which may occur in absence of psychosis or mental illness.

Medical Dictionary (Free Dictionary)

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  • This is a medical condition; not what the OP was asking, was it? – Lambie May 15 '18 at 16:48
  • @Lambie Well I was being deliberately careful. Both of my references make it clear that it occurs in persons who are not the recipients of a medical diagnosis in regard to mental health. – Nigel J May 15 '18 at 17:23
  • There is a difference between having hallucinations about music and imagining the music in your mind. I would not call hearing stuff in your head a hallucination. – Lambie May 15 '18 at 17:52

In the world of music, this is called "musical ideation". It means the ability/experience to hear music in your own head. Mozart was quite good at it.

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  • aka aural imagination – Lambie May 15 '18 at 16:50

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