Our favorite pop songs have a repeating chorus. You can pretty much bank on that. But, as it turns out, repetition isn’t just a phenomenon in Western music. You’ll find it in many forms of music across the globe. Why is this the case? What makes repetition a fairly universal feature in music? In a new TED-Ed video, Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, Professor and Director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas, “walks us through the basic principles of the ‘exposure effect,’ detailing how repetition invites us into music as active participants, rather than [as] passive listeners.” The animation was done by Andrew Zimbelman.
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