Cycles in the World: Strategies for Listening to and Analysing Cyclic Music

Abstract: What portion of the world’s traditional music-making is cyclic, and how could the range of its varieties could be understood as a group? How can one conceive and choose a representative set of examples from among the variety, and what factors bind such musics together? Offering a condensed and eclectic portrait of cyclic music in traditional cultures worldwide, I describe listening and analytical strategies that help shape a portrait of the cyclic family’s centerless space.