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Looping Philosophy

     Many of us have written to the list, or at least considered why 
looping is of such interest to us, so I'd like to try and address a small 
portion of that interest.  Part of what intrigues me, is the notion of 
process in Looping, as well as the 'music' or materials of Looping 
existing in layers.  Every kind of music, from pop to classical to punk 
etc. exists in layers; there are those elements close to the surface 
(melodies, riffs etc) and those things that have a larger and more 
background function (structure, form etc.) The foreground is the easiest 
to perceive, while the background is more difficult, and all the while 
they have a relationship to one another. For example, a technique that 
Bach would often employ involved tonal areas which reinforced the tonic 
triad of the piece. For example, if the piece was in C major, there would 
be tonal areas of C major, E minor and G major - which outlined the tonic 
triad. This shows a relationship between the background and the 
foreground, though we don't necessarily perceive those key areas as a 
reinforcement of the tonality.
     In the counterpoint of Bach, particularly fugal writing, the 
compositions are a result of process; of manipulating melodies 
superimposed on top of each other. There are many ways of developing 
these melodies (which I won't go into to prevent boring you *completely* 
to tears) which we perceive as either background or foreground events. 
When we loop, we are creating layer after layer. After that very first 
germ of an idea we put down, immediately our brains seek out order (or 
disorder) and try to build upon what's been previously recorded.  It's an 
*active* type of composition; it's real-time. Once we put it down, 
there's no going back. And there's also the excitement of not really 
knowing how it will come out. 
     All of us here have at one time or another have sat back and 
marveled at a loop we've created. Every time the cycle passes we hear 
something different. I think part of what we experience is the perception 
of these layers at different times and points of reference. It's a sort 
of musical Mobius strip that seems to have only one surface, but many 
dimensions. These layers provide a sense of depth and meaning, and I 
believe that is a part of the attraction to Looping.
     If anyone is interested in continuing this privately, my Masters 
Thesis dealt with many of these issues, culminating in decidability 
problems in music analysis. (though looping was not involved....but 
there's always a Ph.D.....) The title is "A Connection Between 
Schenkerian Analysis and Godel's Theorem: The Urlinie as Formally 
Undecidable." I am fascinated by musical perception, and this notion of 
'why we Loop" is no less intriguing.
     There are many other factors for sure; things like making music with 
a machine, the tenuous nature of the loop (though with enough 
electricity, could go on forever). I'm interested in hearing why others 
out there find Looping interesting.