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Q&A

Is there any genre of music (or a song) that eschews silence or rests within a piece?

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A friend and I were having a conversation about the similarity of music to speech, and the importance of phrasing with silence or resolution to allow reflection on what has been heard. Is there any form of music or examples of songs that explicitly remove the silence?

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There are a number of pieces in classical music called "perpetuum mobile" or "moto perpetuo." Their characteristic is an even, rapid stream of notes up to the end. Probably the best known example is an orchestral piece by Johann Strauss, Jr. Other examples include "Perpetuum mobile" by Mendelssohn, for solo piano, and "Moto perpetuo" by Paganini for violin and piano.

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Dance Music

Particularly traditional western dance music.

One thing that becomes pretty clear when you're hearing a set of tunes played for dancing, at least in the British-American tradition, is that there really isn't any silence. There are no proper rests, though players might skip a note for phrasal emphasis or to take a quick breath. Even the transition of one tune to the next in a set is smooth and continuous.

On the parallel, the dancers aren't exactly resting either! There is constant motion of the figures, so there must be constant motion of the music!

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