IJMSTA - Vol. 2 - Issue 2 - July 2020
The Divergence of Drumset Function in Popular Music, and how DAWs can Bridge the Divide Between Drummers and Beatmakers
Authors: T. Pierard
Abstract - Much like the tools for creating music have changed hugely over the last 30 years, so too has the function of core elements of the drumset. The drumset is one of the few instruments which has undergone significant development due to its part-creation moving from the realm of the performer to that of the producer or 'beatmaker'. The 90s saw Motown breakbeats broken down to create loops, these loops were then shifted by micro-subdivisions in the late 90s to create rhythmic lilt in Hip Hop, and then sliced and sped up in the 2000s to create the feel synonymous with Drum & Bass music. Drumset performers began to emulate these styles which required new levels of competence and stamina, thus spawning more iterations, resulting in the cyclic movement we see today; the drummer and the drum-programmer locked in a tete-a-tete in which they take turns at copying and redefining just what it is drums do in popular music. Now, drums have undergone yet another shift in function with the creation of trap-influenced pop music, and the core voices of the drumset each have their own new role which is close - yet far removed - from the music which was dominating radio waves just ten years ago. This paper discusses these changes in drumset functionality and posits a theory in which the relationship between drumset and a production tool of sequenced music - the Digital Audio Workstation - can be explored to produce simultaneous development in proficiency.
Keywords: Drumset, Digital Audio Workstation, Ableton Live, Practise