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...when talking about music: what the fuck's that all about then?
is that not pretty obvious??
whos want music that does the same thing over and over or a band who releases albums that are pretty much the same as all their other ones!
when music is purposefully organised around a principle of slowly-shifting, repetitive rhythms, for example. Some nitwit always comes along and says 'It's just repetitive though'. NO SHIT.
Is actually pretty repetetive - Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Chorus....
There's no development whatsoever.
Therefore, for a short song to be considered "repetitive" must mean that it's referencing the works of Steve Reich and Philip Glass with its minimal approach - some people do not take kindly to this, and seek to use the term as some for of valid musicological crtique.
Steve Reich was in turn heavily inspired by African music and its approach to shifting time cycles.
'I don't like repetitive music' is, of course, a fair statement. However many people on here, and in the actual world, have a propensity to dismiss heavily repetitive music as primitive or underevolved. It's patronising and eurocentric in the worst possible way.
*rarr stamp stamp red face etc*
To play devil's advocate for a moment, one could argue that dismissing music as repetitive isn't really Eurocentric, because "real" African music isn't really repetitive - it's heavily improvisational and so *exact* repeats are rare. The American minimalism of Glass and Reich, on the other hand is (at least in its early 70s manifestations) literally repetitive, and deliberately emphasises that fact.
about African music, as if it were just one musical culture, which it probably isn't, but my point is true for the only African music I know anything about.
one could argue that no music played by a human can ever be truly repetitive. There is an *aspect* of repetition in many African styles. Also, there is often an aspect of precomposition or an extremely tightly-defined idiom which denotes that the same motives are often repeated/re-used.
but my point was just that the traditional academic Avant-Garde critique of Minimalism isn't entirely (in my opinion) about Eurocentric colonialism.
There are various points-of-view in ethnomusicological thought which seek to decry the music of Reich and co as somehow sacrilegious for its effective summarization and simplification of indigenous styles. Personally I can't see anything demeaning or blasphemous about Reich's use of these principles: it's far more complimentary to creatively interpret a culture's music than to attempt to copy it.
I think it was Stockhausen who said that he felt that a regular pulse made him think of Nazi's marching. Even if it wasn't, the feeling was definitely there in the post-war European avant-garde, and was one of the things that Adorno had against Stravinsky.
That was either meant to be "Nazi's parades" or "Nazi marches", rather than the ungrammatical clause above. Bah.
repetition contributed to the futuristic, utopian aesthetic, with undercurrents of repression and life-as-production line. See Jeff Mills' soundtrack to Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
i put it on about the same level as "unmemorable": sometimes a valid criticism, often a bullshit judgement used by idiots
i definitely prefer it to "wanky" though
using it to describe a song seems a bit stupid to me, since songs are almost always deliberately repetitive.
but quite often it's used in a context of an album or a band's work in general to say that they're not progressing musically, or something equally wanky, and that's fair enough.
The guy was right in that songs on the single he was reviewing were all written to be musically as repetitive and relentless as possible and I thought his review was fair if he didn't like the end result
(http://www.isthismusic.com/paul-hawkins-thee-awkward-silences if anyone cares - is it a Jag if it's a bad review?)
I really like repetitive music done in the right way. If you can do the same thing relentlessly over and over and pull it off the effect can be really powerful.