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Why loop?

Hello, dear Loopers:

Yes, it's question time!

I just finished up a piece and was reminded of a question I meant to put to
the list some time ago: why loop? I mean "why" in the fundamental sense of
addressing what it is about repetition that's good. Is "looping" 
equivalent to
the broader category of "repetition," or is it a particular type or method 
repetition? Aside from the obvious mechanistic differences, are there
qualitative differences between music that is made by repeating phrases in,
ahem, "real" time and music in which repetition is achieved by looping? Are
these differences audible?

I would imagine from the responses to the "things vs. computers" debate 
lots of people use looping devices in order to do solo performances in 
multiple parts can be controlled by the performer. If the "looping vs.
repetition" question doesn't interest anyone, maybe people could describe 
enabling or limiting aspects of performing solo or in duos as opposed to
ensemble playing where looping is rendered less necessary.


Morgan Hamilton Lang.