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Loop History and Origins

By Matthias Grob

Repetitive patterns such as rhythm, recurring harmony, repeated melodies, chorus etc. are common to most music traditions. The "hypnotic" effect of repeated sound has been in use for a long time in various cultures.

In African religions, each pattern stands for one spirit and is repeated until the dancers fall into a trance - the spirit arrives. Indian and related cultures use Mantras for spiritual growth: certain, sometimes secret melodies or the OM are sung over and over. In Western culture, the complexity of music over the last centuries has been immense.

While the idea of the Ostinato and Bordun stayed present, only a few decades ago, "Tape Loop Art" and "Minimal Music" appeared and emphasized the repetitive side of contemporary music. Tape recorders and MIDI have been supporting the emergence of "Loop Music".

But the pleasure of playing and the quality of music suffered from progress: Operating machines, rewinding tapes, and clicking on screens are not what we are looking for when we want to play. When building my machines my aim is to make them more musical than logical, giving you intuitive access so that your creativity may flow.

The important thing about LOOP is that it makes you instantly listen back to your playing, with all the details of expression. Control yourself and react to yourself. Flow from one idea to another, travel through different climates and feelings of yourself, and you can always listen to your own mood and search deeper into yourself to find the next thought and (corresponding) musical idea.

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