Repetition refers to repeated sounds or sequences of music. It is a key feature that is shared by almost all kinds of music throughout the world. Humans enjoy repetition because of what psychologists call the mere exposure effect. We like music or sections of music that we have consciously or unconsciously heard before. Furthermore, musical repetition has the profound effect of drawing the listener into the music, making us feel as if we are participating rather than just listening. Upon hearing a repeated section of music, the brain will try to imagine the next note before it is actually played.
Ear Sketch got philosophical on me today, which reminded me about a great post/essay/review by Ethan Hein I read at the start of the year when doing a paper on “pop” music.
Working on Ear Sketch and producing a pop/dubstep style sound*, and reading articles like this one helps me to reflect on the value of pop music in the classroom. It’s value doesn’t have to necessarily be in it’s place in our students culture, but it can actually be found in the music itself. James Humberstone reminded my class to look for the sophistication in pop music, a sentiment that I have gotten into many arguments with more purist friends since I first started at the con.
*Mostly- I will admit I had a go at this quick mash up to cheer a friend up today.
— Amber Johnson (@ambermareemusic) November 11, 2016