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David's Tip of the Day: Value of Repetition, Part 16 (A = Constant and f/t = Change)

David Barrett Admin's picture

In Friday's Richmond Browne quote he states, "The listener is constantly making predictions; actual infinitesimal predictions as to whether the next event will be a repetition of something, or something different. The player is constantly either confirming or denying these predictions in the listener's mind. As nearly as we can tell, the listener must come out right about 50% of the time--if he is too successful in predicting, he will be bored; if he is too unsuccessful, he will give up and call the music 'disorganized.'"

Let's use the Af Af At (AAA with fills) Chorus Form as reference.

A = You play the A
f = You play the fill... none of this means anything to the listener yet, it's just ear candy.

A = You repeat A, the listener's not humming along with you yet, but it's familiar and it's appreciated.
f = You chance your fill and surprise the listener. Since you repeated your A, they expected you to repeat the fill. This new material is violation of expectation and is interesting.

A = Now your A is familiar enough that they can hum along with you... you've included them in the music and they're enjoying that.
t = They remember that you changed the end of your last line last time and wonder if you're going to change this up again... and you do.

This has been a fun game for the listener... a good balance of consistency and change.