Smith, Sophy (S. J.)


The Compositional Proceses of UK Hip-Hop Turntable Teams

PhD Dissertation, De Montfort University.


Aural Analysis Turntablism Visual Representation


The author focuses on the compositional processes and the artistic product, the routines of three UK hip-hop turntablist teams, The Scratch Perverts, The Mixologists and the DMU Crew. After dealing with the complex relationships of hip-hop turntable teams’ music in terms of modernist and postmodernist debates, the dissertation investigates process from the point of view of group devising and of improvisation during performances. Selected performances have been chosen which are presented in audio or audio-visual form alongside a newly developed score notation that integrates content, scratch techniques and acting on stage. These scores are subsequently analysed and compared. The author is therefore able to describe the key characteristics of the collaborative processes and techniques used by turntable teams.

Table of contents:

Technological, Artistic and Cultural Positioning
Compositional Processes 1: The Creation of Original Sound Material
Compositional Processes 2: Team Formation and the Creative Processes of Hip-Hop Turntable Teams
An Analytical methodology for Hip-Hop Turntable Music
Analysis of the Compositional Processes of UK Hip-Hop Turntable Teams & Conclusion

The dissertation’s second volume consists of scores of hip-hop turntable performances