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Hip-Hop pedagogy as production practice: Reverse-engineering the sample-based aesthetic

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Hip-hop music practice contains a rich matrix of creative methods within its paradigm, which can inform and inspire music production pedagogy. The techno-artistic trajectory of rap production consists of numerous performing, engineering and production phases, while it may also involve self-contained developmental practices, such as the creation of intermediate content for sampling. The well-documented issues affecting phonographic sampling have given rise to alternative approaches, inviting both live musicianship and a dependence on synthesized sonics within hip-hop practice. As a hybrid production vehicle par excellence, Hip-Hop provides a fertile context for the application of diverse techniques in pursuit of inter-stylistic aesthetics. The article explores the spectrum of creative opportunities that lie between live performance, sample-based processes and notions of ‘composition’ as encompassed within the hip-hop paradigm. The aim is to identify under-represented aspects of contemporary music production and unexploited synergies in popular music curricula that may benefit from further integration.
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Keywords: Hip-Hop; aesthetics; pedagogy; practice; record production; sample-based

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: London College of Music, University of West London

Publication date: August 1, 2018

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  • The main aims of Journal of Popular Music Education, especially initially, will be iteratively to define the parameters of the field and disciplines of its readership and contributors (especially with regard to other journals in popular music and music education), this being an emerging field of scholarship and practice. The other principal aim will be to disseminate excellent critique and other forms of scholarship (e.g. phenomenological) in and related to the field. The journal will have an inclusive, global reach. 'Education' and 'popular music' are terms that we expect to be stretched and problematized through rigorous examination from multiple international perspectives.
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