REPEATING PATTERNS and cycles are very common in music. It’s often harder to find a piece of music that doesn’t use cycles than one that does. Cycles are particularly important to African music. So it’s not surprising that you can hear cycles and repeating patterns in a lot of music from Africa and also from parts of the world that African peoples have travelled to, for one reason or another – the African diaspora.
But it goes a bit deeper than just repeating patterns of harmonies or rhythms. What seems like a very simple pattern actually has a more complicated foundation as Tunde Jegede explains in this clip.