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dc.contributor.authorBridgewater, Michael Philip-
dc.descriptionPh. D. Thesis.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis PhD thesis investigates how a multiplicity of distinct styles of hip hop beats have materialised since hip hop music’s initial emergence from New York City in the 1970s. From the outset, I assert that the beat, that is, the musical component that might be thought of as the ‘backing track’ of a hip hop record or live performance, should be considered just as fundamental as an MC’s vocals. I proceed to observe that while hip hop can be – and usually is – invoked to mean a single genre, examples of hip hop beats from disparate regions and periods can sound radically different from one another, exhibiting divergent sonic signatures and compositional approaches. My research seeks to discover and engage critically with the factors that have caused this stylistic diversity. A musicological inquiry that eschews the priorities and standardisations of European-derived musical sensibilities in favour of a meaningful regard for hip hop culture’s aesthetics and creative strategies is pursued as I analyse a selection of significant region-specific and period-specific beat styles, and subsequently, a combination of online ethnographic work and a creative practice element leads my survey on the present state of underground beatmaking practice. Drawing from theories and applications of dialectics, I find that the history of hip hop beats and beatmaking can be apprehended by scrutinising the relationship between underground musical movements and the agents of the capitalist culture industry, with these two conflicting sides effectively working in tandem to ensure hip hop’s continued position at the vanguard of modern popular music. Crucially, I suggest that hip hop beatmaking constitutes a truly revolutionary form of composition that exposes and explodes the latent potentials of music technologies, both established and novel.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipNorthern Bridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnershipen_US
dc.publisherNewcastle Universityen_US
dc.titleProbing the evolutions and proliferations of beatmaking styles in hip hop musicen_US
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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