Musical Repetition (featuring a video from TedEd)

As a composer of music that frequently features strong emphasis on stasis or repetition, I frequently butt heads with the notion that repetition without transformation is non-music, or “boring.” When we allow ourselves to let go of our judgments about if we like music or not, or if we’re bored or not, we tend to be more open to having the experience that the music is facilitating. In many ways, music that contains strong repetition allows us to experience more fully the depth of the musical event because we are allowed to engage with this music several times over, each time learning a new thing about what the music is saying.  This concept has fascinated me since the first time I heard a minimalist work and has had a strong drive on my recent conceptualization of what I want my music to be like.

This brief video from TedEd explains some of the science behind this idea.


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