A view of the world from my own unique perspective

Name That Hand Clap

When I was a teenager, radio stations would often have “Name That Tune” contests – they would play a series of ten short song excerpts, and encourage their listeners to call the station and identify as many titles (and artists) as they could, in order to win concert tickets or some other prize. Although I listened to the radio as much as any other teenager, I found these sound clips to be frustratingly short – often less than a second each – and I had great difficulty identifying even one or two songs, much less the ten required to win a prize.

Last year, I wrote a blog post called Name That Drumbeat. It was an experiment to determine what exactly was triggering our audio memory. The radio contest sound clips were far too brief for us to recognize a melody, so we must have been memorizing the raw audio itself. Therefore, we should be able to identify a series of from a montage of drumbeats.

I then continued this musical game with my 1, 2, 3, 4 counting experiment – try to identify a tune by hearing only the singer counting in the song.

This time I’ve created a new montage called “Name That Hand Clap” – try to identify as many tunes as you can by listening to short hand-clapping sequences. This was another difficult one to compile because there aren’t many pop songs that include hand clapping, and fewer still with isolated hand claps. If there is clapping, then it is usually heard in the background, or with a dominant percussive accompaniment. The best examples came from songs recorded during the 1950s and 60s, so they will be represented prominently in this montage.

The hand clap montage contains ten short audio samples, extracted from well-known pop songs from the 1950s to the mid 1980s. There are two versions of the montage: the second one contains one second of silence between each audio sample, and the first version doesn’t, which makes it a little more challenging, but a lot more more fun!

Please enter your guesses (artist and title) in the comments section below, and let me know how easy or difficult you found this experiment. If you can think of any other songs that have isolated (or prominent) hand claps, please list them in the Comments section as well.

Hand Clap Montage: 

Hand Clap Montage (with gaps): 

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