In a book called The Gay Science Nietzsche writes ‘What if a demon crept after you one day and said “This life, as you live it now and have lived it, you will have to live again and again; and there will be nothing new in it, but pain and every joy and every thought and sigh will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust.”’
The need to repeat is seated as deeply as anything is seated. Perhaps the walls of the city do shake when the mode of the music changes. But when is that? For many people, perhaps most people, the music of time is a fugue of just two or three related motifs, repeated, inverted, restated in different keys, but always the same motifs. In childhood the experiential impact of days and places and people is huge, but they are usually the same people, the same places, and days of repetitions.