Exploring hip hop music education through online instructional beat production videos

Adam J. Kruse, Stuart Chapman Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores online instructional beat production videos as a way to inform hip hop and popular music education and diversify scholarship in online music learning. The authors conducted a content analysis of YouTube videos, considering the instructional characteristics and content of these videos and the musical technologies employed within them. Findings highlight the importance of YouTube as a repository of hip hop beat production instructional material. Videos focused on composition of new beats, rather than re-creation of existing material, underlining an important distinction between hip hop musical practices and the ‘listen and copy’ approach identified in other vernacular music research – and a distinction between these videos and others studied in extant music education scholarship that focuses on YouTube. The videos showcased varied technologies, some of which (e.g., FL Studio) seem especially well aligned with beat production practice. The article concludes with considerations for music educators and for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-260
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Music, Technology and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Beat production
  • Hip hop
  • Online instruction
  • Popular music
  • Vernacular music
  • YouTube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music
  • Computer Science Applications


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