It’s been said that literature is a unique medium among the arts because while you are on a linear path you can still control time: read a paragraph again, go back a couple pages, start from the end and go forward, etc.

I can think of novels like Julio Cortozar’s Hopscotch and Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire that take advantage of this, making the reader jump around as if they were in fact playing hopscotch.

Music is unique in this same way. We often play just certain parts of a tune on our instruments repeatedly, jump around an album we’re listening to, or even listen to a certain part of an aria again and again for scholarly purposes.

There have been various musical ventures which have taken advantage of this (They Might Be Giants’ “Fingertips” comes to mind) but I think this hopscotch characteristic can still be explored to odder depths.


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