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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Interesting video on repetition repetition repetit
Interesting video on repetition repetition repetit
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9639 posts
Oct 17, 2017
2:46 PM

For what it's worth, lyrically, I use a lot of repetition myself, but I do think it's more interesting if that repetition of lines sets up something poetically and storywise. I'm more likely to repeat the first part of a line and change the end of the line-

Oh when I got there
I knew there'd been trouble
Oh when I got there
I knew what he'd done

Or you can use the break in pattern to say something...

Life life life life
Strife strife strife strife

I've also noticed that listening to foreign language music can be fun because you focus on the voice as a musical instrument instead of as something telling a story.

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First Post- May 8, 2009
548 posts
Oct 17, 2017
2:58 PM
By repeating something in music, you are telling the audience that it is important. We don't have many ways to communicate the importance of an idea to audiences, but repetition is one of the ways to do so.

It also enables the audience to interact with the music. When you break away from some repetitive pattern, it builds interest. When you later return to the pattern, the listener will ask, "I wonder what he'll do this time."
Marc Graci
YouTube Channel
2325 posts
Oct 17, 2017
4:06 PM
RadioLab story on repetition
712 posts
Oct 17, 2017
5:43 PM
It's not just with music but pretty much everything.
Neophilia -> The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything (see bottom of article for music references)

It's fundamental to how our brain (a pattern recognition engine) operates. Striking that balance between the familiar and the novel underlies almost everything we do. Where you place yourself on the continuum dictates to a large extent how receptive people will be to whatever it is your doing. Pop music obviously sits tightly at one end, though you also could argue they innovate through sound design and instrumentation rather than composing/arranging.

There's science to it but making it work well is art.

Even birds do it!
Animal Innovation

And sleazebag political operators also exploit it via Dark Pattern manipulation.

Paul Cohen aka Komuso Tokugawa
HarpNinja - Learn Harmonica Faster
Komuso's Music Website

Last Edited by Komuso on Oct 17, 2017 5:55 PM

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