I totally agree. Genre sets the context and that ties into expectations.
I really dig the ‘pick two’ thing. Reminds me of the product development “You can have it fast, high quality, or cheap. Pick two”
In general I agree about rock vs Bach, but even Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and other pieces play off the phrase and the pattern is there in the mind and the expectation is set. The pattern plays in the head while the orchestra plays and the two are the experience of the music.
Thanks for the thoughts!
I think it depends on the genre and expectations of the listeners. I change my listening expectations depending on what I’m listening to or composing. I would expect a whole lot more repetition in rock than in Bach. I’ve heard you can have complicated rhythm, harmony or melody, choose two. In other words if two aspects are complicated, the third needs to be simple or the listener gets lost. Of course this again applies WITHIN a genre. The level of complication listening to Stravinsky is different from country music. Stravinsky is a good example because he often uses folk like melodies that are easy to hang onto with complex harmony and rhythms.
Great article, thanks for sharing!
I do wonder what the critical mass of non-adjusted perfect repetition is. In other words, if one takes a digital loop (As opposed to people playing), starts it and lets it play without changing anything whatsoever, at what point do people get tired with monotony?