Production, Genre and Composition: A study of approaches to contemporary studio production
Within Popular Music Studies genre has been most commonly approached from the perspectives of music consumers, and rarely from that of music creators. On the rare occasions that the influence of genre on music creators has been discussed, it is limited to a single genre. Through the author’s personal experience in producing three album-length projects that exist within the spectrum of the broad genres of ‘mainstream pop’ and ‘alternative pop’, this research identifies some of the influences of genre on record production. Situated firmly in the alternative pop genre, the Some Other Creature project challenges existing songwriting and recording practices. In contrast, the Portfolio of Productions adheres strictly to the established creative approaches of contemporary mainstream pop. Finally, the Katie Raven recordings attempt to bridge the gap by recording a portfolio of works primarily consisting of covers of works by canonic artists, with the ultimate goal of presenting the finished recordings to interested major record labels. The research examines decisions made throughout the three key stages of production - pre- production, recording, and post-production - from the first-hand perspectives of producer, artist, and engineer. All three stages of contemporary record production are found to continue the process of composition, and require the persistent supervision of the producer. This evolving process of composition is itself found to be constantly informed by the existing idioms of each genre.
Advisor: Downes, Graeme; Adams, Peter
Degree Name: Doctor of Musical Arts
Degree Discipline: Music and Theatre Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: studio production; music; genre; songwriting; record production
Research Type: Thesis