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Title: Music Production In Accra: Ghanaian Hiplife, Akan AND Highlife Harmony and African-American Minimalist Hip-Hop in Two Case Studies
Authors: Adu-Gilmore, Leila
Advisors: Mackey, Steven
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Composition
Subjects: Musical composition
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This work examines the music, working practices, environment and influences of two Ghanaian hip-hop producers, Appietus and DJ Breezy. As in much non-Western music, the definitions of “composition” and “improvisation” continuously disrupt each other in the music of these Ghanaian hiplife and hip-hop producers. The studio highlights this blending of processes where hardware and software can form both the instruments and compositional tools. Hip-hop and electronic music rely heavily on improvisation through studio techniques. Therefore, the methodological approach to these case studies centers on transcriptions and music analysis, as well as research through interviews with Appietus and DJ Breezy in their studios, focusing on process. Text and rhythm in hip-hop are well documented but compositional process involving harmonic and melodic analysis are often overlooked; moreover, in-depth analysis of non-notated music (especially by black composers and others from the global south) is under represented in scholarship. Hiplife producer Appietus uses Ghanaian harmony, this harmony is partly derived from traditional Akan female singing and highlife so I dug deeper into these harmonic influences through transcription and analysis. As the music of DJ Breezy is influenced by local producers and overseas African-American hip-hop producers, I look at minimalist hip-hop connecting the thread of similarities of producers who have most influenced him. I found no female producers in Ghana, searching through academic and local industry experts in my 2014 research visit, so I also theorize black feminisms to explain some of the reasons for this lack. At a secondary level, this work shows a broader background, including opportunities and obstacles of producing in Accra and the formal and informal networks of education for these producers, a brief history of Ghanaian electronic music and, the economics of producing music in Ghana, as well as identities of nationality, race, ethnic group and genre. Hence, to honor the music itself, this dissertation focuses to a greater extent on musical analysis of studio, improvisation and compositional processes, with supporting observations on broader cultural context where relevant, to help fill the void of compositional analysis of music in the canon of black music.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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