CfP: Over and Over: Exploring Repetition in Popular Music (University of Liege)

Joint international conference IASPM – branche francophone d’Europe & IASPM – Benelux:
“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, 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.

Additional information can be found at

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