The cyclical, reciprocal relationship between funk drumming and the hip-hop technologist

Walker, S 2021, The cyclical, reciprocal relationship between funk drumming and the hip-hop technologist , DMA thesis, University of Salford.

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This thesis seeks to reveal the cyclical and reciprocal nature of the relationship between live drummers, DJs, and beat producers (hip-hop technologists), illustrating the ways that these artists have continued to inform and inspire one another to evolve while considering various performance and production techniques that affect the sonic characteristics of both live, recorded, and sampled drum performances. It demonstrates how progenitors of funk drumming directly influenced decades of subsequent drummers, DJs, and beat producers across a wide array of genres, specifically hip-hop, pop, and to a lesser extent, sample-based music genres. To date there exists very few scholarly materials that speak to the cyclical and/or reciprocal nature of funk drumming and its influence on or use in hip-hop music creation/performance. It the intent of this document therefor to provide direct correlation between funk drumming and hip-hop music as well as to propose that hip-hop music is in fact a natural evolution of funk drumming. Through interviews with preeminent musicians, musician-scholars, and music producers and DJs–and through my own practice-led research in the creation of two recordings, I am able to bring firsthand, primary source-level information and perspectives to this thesis. Within the drumming community it is widely understood and taken as granted that funk drumming is the source material from which hip-hop music evolved. The information provided within this document, though not entirely new or revolutionary in its individual components, seeks to provide clear correlations by illustrating the use of, or re-contextualization of seminal funk drumming patterns/recordings in hip-hop recordings and by detailing the evolution of funk drumming patterns from the post-bop, R&B, and early rock ‘n’ roll genres. This thesis also seeks to illustrate how the Afro-Latin clave rhythm is embedded within much of the funk drumming vocabulary by providing examples of its use throughout the evolution of early pop/rock/R&B genres. As such it is my assertion that these correlations have not ever been presented in the way in which this thesis does–nor have the assertions presented within this document ever been formally presented in a peer-reviewed or scholarly document. Therefore, it is my assertion that this thesis provides new context and perspective on the relationship(s) between funk drumming and hip-hop music.

Item Type: Thesis (DMA)
Contributors: Williams, B (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Depositing User: Steven Walker
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2021 13:58
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2022 02:30

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