Ertegun Staff and Scholar Profiles

Diale Mabitsela

Nationality: 
South African
Current course: 
MPhil in Music

I completed a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in which I conducted research into the rituals and practices of house music club culture in urban Johannesburg.

Building upon this foundation, I now desire to dig deeper into the musical facets of electronic dance music genres such as house within the framework of art music composition. This would necessitate an investigation into the various other genres of music that have developed in the wake of the minimalist inventions of Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Phillip Glass. A critical part of my research will focus on these musical styles and how they deal with metrical manipulation, phasing, repetitive figurations and looped materials as well as the development of sonic textures and tapestries through the layering of these ostinato patterns. 

Mark Butler speaks of these and other topics in his study of the musical designs of Electronic Dance Music making reference to asymmetrical rhythms as well as displaced and at times conflicting rhythmical groupings within the genre (2006).[1] I will draw from the contributions of scholars such as Butler seeking to apply some of the insights they offer in the composition of various pieces of 'dance' music intended for the concert hall.

Central to the value of my research is the inspiration and intellectual stimulation to be provided by the experience of interacting with the other students involved in the Ertegun Programme. Through our various engagements with one another I hope to have my assumptions challenged and my horizons broadened as I pursue my research aims.