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.

Keynote Speakers:


Organisation Board: Olivier Julien (Paris-Sorbonne University, France) / Christophe Levaux (University of Liege, Belgium) / Kristin McGee (University of Groningen, Netherlands) / Christophe Pirenne (University of Liege, Belgium) / Hillegonda Rietveld (London South Bank University, United Kingdom) / Koos Zwaan (Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands)

The conference is free of charge but if you wish to attend, please send an email to christophe.levaux@ulg.ac.be