Hybridity Table

The principal challenge in creating hybrid music is to integrate diverse genre elements into a coherent, blended and balanced musical whole, because in many cases important elements from different genres do not gel readily with each other. To facilitate hybridisation, and genuine balancing of possibly conflicting musical elements, an algorithmic table based on key genre elements was developed. The resultant clarity offered by the hybridity table directs the creation of poly-genre hybrids towards equilibrium between the selected genre elements in each piece.

As part of my PhD research (you can read it all here: http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/9348) I developed a ‘hybridity table’ to be used as a precompositional tool for creating hybrid genre music. You can check out that table here:

Guide to the Hybridity Table


The hybridity table contains a selection of musical genre elements selected to guide the composition of cross-genre hybrid music. The initial design of the hybridity table explored fewer musical elements, but as pieces were written and reworked it became clear when a necessary element wasn’t addressed.

The structure of each composition is generated by the hybridity table and based on genre comparison. The genre definitions placed in the hybridity table can be continually refined through trial and error during the composition and research process. Using the table, it is possible to outline the elements, aesthetics and ancestry of the source material essential in the creation of a unique hybrid. The genre comparison process consists of:

  1. Filling the hybridity table with key genre elements, determined from relevant genre literature and critical listening to genre repertoire.
  2. Selecting elements for juxtaposition or case-specific synthesis.
  3. Addressing aesthetic and cultural considerations within respective genres.

The genre elements addressed on the left-hand side of the hybridity table are: compositional construction (method of scoring/notation, use of improvisation, loops etc); form; tempo; musical freedom (both in interpretation and construction); complexity; harmony; sonic design; use of technology; rhythm; meaning; gesture; purpose; musical material (use of repetition, motivic development); dynamics; pitch; ensemble.


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