Again and Again: Musical Repetition in Aesthetics, Analysis and Experience

International Conference
‘Again and Again: Musical Repetition in Aesthetics, Analysis, and Experience’
Thursday 25 – Friday 26 April 2019 
City, University of London – Music Department

Repetition is one of music’s most fundamental and definitive features. This multifaceted phenomenon unfolds across many different timescales, genres and techniques, and engenders a multitude of experiences and percepts. From the recapitulation in sonata form, to self-similar cells in the late music of Morton Feldman, to the layering of repetitive loops in Electronic Dance Music, to cyclical quasi-repetition in African drumming: the notion of repetition penetrates all areas and domains of music-making. Moreover, musical repetition does not only operate within particular works, but also amongst musical works. In fields such as music production, industry, education, and performance, the notions of repetition and repeatability have similarly proven to be vital. 

‘Again & Again’ aims to stimulate a broad, interdisciplinary conversation about musical repetition in its broadest and its most particular terms. We invite perspectives from across all domains of music studies, including music history, music theory and analysis, ethnomusicology, composition, performance, popular music studies, and sound studies.

Highlights will include a keynote presentation by Professor Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis (Distinguished Professor and Director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas and author of ‘On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind’) and a performance by London-based Explore Ensemble, who will perform Morton Feldman’s 1987 work ‘Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello’. 

Proposals of papers or presentations in lecture-recital formats (20-minute presentation with 10-minute question period for both formats) will be considered for inclusion in the conference schedule. Panel proposals are also welcome, as are concert or installation proposals that connect to the conference theme.

Presentations may address, but are by no means limited to:

  • the experience of musical repetition in cognition and psychology
  • the relationship between repetition as a musical phenomenon and as a philosophical notion 
  • analytical tools that might aid the assessment of musical repetition
  • the cultural or socio-political significance of musical repetition
  • repetition in music production and/or technology

Abstracts (300 words maximum) are to be sent via email by 21st of January 2019 to Christine Dysers via Please include the title of your paper, as well as a 100-word biography.  

For any further information, see

‘Again & Again’ is generously supported by the Royal Music Association (RMA), the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE) and the City, University of London Music Department.

SPARC Symposium 2018: Socio-Sonic

London (UK), 14-15 September 2018

This symposium will take a cross-disciplinary approach, digging deeper into sonic sociality. While the social aspects of music-making are well-documented, the sociality of sound is less often discussed in detail. The SPARC Symposium 2018 will bring together practitioners and researchers from a wide variety of musical and non-musical backgrounds for two days of spoken presentations, discussion, installation, film screenings and performances.

Keynote: Maria Lisogorskaya (Assemble)

Invited Participants include: BLATT3000, Toby O’Connor, Ansgar Endress, Eloise Ruth Garland, Corey Mwamba, Sam MacKay, Matilde Meireles, Pedro Rebelo & Fiona Magowan, Georgia Rodgers, Lauren Redhead, Malcolm Philips, Rupert Cox

For more information, including registration details, please visit:


Sound Practice and Research at City (SPARC) is an independent research centre hosted by City, University of London. SPARC contributes to the interdisciplinary field of 21st Century sound practice in all its magnificent plurality. Its members work at the boundaries between improvisation, performance, sound art and composition. SPARC promotes dialogue, debate and creative activity in sound and composition practices through the production of new creative work, publications, multi.modal recordings, public fora and new collaborative relationships.

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