Over and Over

Over and Over: Exploring Repetition in Popular Music

by Olivier Julien

Olivier Julien is a lecturer in the history and musicology of popular music at Paris-Sorbonne University, France. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Christophe Levaux

Christophe Levaux is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liège, Belgium Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2018
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-5013-2487-1 (online)

    978-1-5013-2488-8 (hardback)

    978-1-5013-2490-1 (epub)

    978-1-5013-2489-5 (epdf)
  • Edition:
    First published
  • Place of Publication:
    New York
  • Published Online:
Over and Over
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From the Tin Pan Alley 32-bar form, through the cyclical forms of modal jazz, to the more recent accumulation of digital layers, beats, and breaks in Electronic Dance Music, repetition as both an aesthetic disposition and a formal musicological property has stimulated a diverse range of genres and techniques. After decades of riffs, loops, vamps, reiterated rhythmic patterns, pervasive harmonic formulae and recurring structural units in standardised song forms, the time came to give these notions the recognition they deserve in the study of popular music. Whether addressed from the angle of musicology, psychology, sociology or science and technology, Over and Over reassesses the complexity connected to notions of repetition in a variety of musical genres.

This book will be the first edited volume on repetition in 20th- and 21st- century popular music. As such, it offers a multi-faceted view of the subject. The wide-ranging forms and use of repetition — from large repetitive structures to micro repetitions, and even to drones — are explored in relation to both specific and large-scale issues and contexts. Over and Over brings together a selection of original texts by leading authors in a field which is, as yet, little explored. Aimed at both specialists and neophytes, it aims to shed important new light on one of the fundamental phenomena of music of our times.