CfP: Over and Over – Exploring repetition in popular music (University of Liege)

“Over and Over – Exploring repetition in popular music”
4–6 June 2015 – University of Liege, Belgium
Deadline: 18 January 2015

“Over and Over: Exploring repetition in popular music” aims at identifying and studying the recent aesthetic and analytical developments of musical repetition. From the 32-bar forms of Tin Pan Alley, through the cyclic forms of modal jazz, to the more recent accumulation of digital layers, beats, and breaks in Electronic Dance Music (EDM), repetition as both an aesthetic disposition or formal musicological property stimulated a diversity of genres and techniques. After decades of riffs, loops, vamps, reiterated rhythmic patterns, as well as pervasive harmonic formulae and recurring structural units in standardized song forms, the time has come to give these notions the place they deserve in the study of popular music.

Since the 1980s, and following on Richard Middleton’s pioneering work on musematic and discursive repetition or Robert Fink’s “Repeating Ourselves”, repetition can no longer be conceived as a single, over-arching concept. Whether addressed from the angle of musicology, sociology, music technology, economy or cultural studies, the complexity connected to notions of repetition in a variety of musical cultures calls for a reassessment of relevant theoretical frameworks and discursive approaches. Suitable topics include (but are not restricted to) the following:

  • Theory of repetition, academic discourses on repetition, historiography
  • Music analysis, music theory, musical forms
  • History and sociology of technology
  • Mass cultural theory
  • Psychoanalysis and information theory
  • Genre studies
  • Loops, samples, riffs and remixes
  • DIY culture
  • Repetition in experimental, avant-garde and ‘Art’ music (20th & 21st Centuries)
  • Reception, discomorphosis
  • Sonic ontology of musical repetition
  • Repetition in dance and ritual music

Abstracts of no more than 300 words and short biographical notes (of no more than 75 words with affiliation, contact email and five keywords) should be sent in English to christophe.levaux@ulg.ac.be by 18 January 2015. Papers will be accepted in English, French, and Dutch (whatever the language of their presentation, participants will be asked to provide PowerPoint/KeyNote slides in English). Abstracts will be reviewed and results will be announced in March 2015.

Any enquiries should be sent to christophe.levaux@ulg.ac.be

Organisation Board

Olivier Julien (Paris-Sorbonne University, France)
Christophe Levaux (University of Liege, Belgium)
Kristin McGee (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
Christophe Pirenne (University of Liege, Belgium)
Hillegonda Rietveld (South-Bank University, United-Kingdom)
Koos Zwan (InHolland Hogeschool, Netherlands)

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