UNT Theses and Dissertations - 7 Matching Results

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The Controversial Identity of Flamenco Jazz: A New Historical and Analytical Approach

Description: There are certain recordings by important artists such as Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Pedro Iturralde, Chick Corea, and Paco de Lucía, among others, that have been associated with the label flamenco jazz. This label is entering jazz discourse, and it needs to be better understood in order to clarify its history, its identity, and its impact on recent developments in flamenco that are labeled nuevo flamenco. There is a lack of agreement in the existent literature on flamenco jazz on the evaluation of these recordings and these artists' achievements and contributions to this field. These writings encompass authors from different backgrounds: journalists, critics, and musicologists, who have approached their analysis of the recordings from different perspectives. The differences in professional backgrounds, approaches, and purpose of the writings of these authors has resulted in controversy about this label. Therefore, the flamenco jazz scholarly conversation needs more objective writings from an analytical point of view. This historiographical study presents a more comprehensive evaluation of flamenco jazz by discussing selected recordings using analytical tools from jazz studies. These analytical arguments clarify the aesthetics of flamenco jazz and the artistic processes that these artists went through when combining musical elements from flamenco and jazz, which in some cases are described as creative misreading. In this century of cultural globalization, where jazz has become a diverse expression of world music because of its capacity to absorb traits from other musical practices, this study can be a resource for international jazz musicians who are seeking to combine jazz with their musical cultural heritage.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Pamies Rodriguez, Sergio
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Evolution of the Improvisational Vocabulary of Marc Johnson

Description: This study examines the evolution of the improvisational vocabulary utilized by bassist Marc Johnson over the course of his career. Through interviews and musical analysis the study contextualizes Johnson’s musical influences, considers how they shaped his development, and examines his role in the legacy of the stylistic lineage established by Scott LaFaro with the Bill Evans Trio. A survey of literature concerning Johnson, Scott LaFaro and Eddie Gomez is included, as well as a discussion of the impact of apprenticeship on Johnson’s career. The study illuminates aspects of Johnson’s current vocabulary and how he has synthesized influences to create a distinctive vocabulary, not derivative of Scott LaFaro or Eddie Gomez, but incorporating elements of their style in the composition of his own voice.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Helsley, Jack Denard
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Model of Collaborative Creativity: The Arrangements of Nelson Riddle for Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald

Description: This dissertation explores the themes of collaboration and creativity in the relationship between arranger Nelson Riddle and vocalists Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. It examines the balance between structure and freedom as well as the specific musical results that emerge from collaboration between an arranger and vocalists who are considered among the greatest in their fields. An examination of their interactions, musical scores, and performances, reveals that the constraints that are present in a collaborative effort can lead the artists to find a shared process to make a creative, unified product.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Evens, Gabriel I.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Programmatic Geographical Depictions in Large-Scale Jazz Ensemble Works: Major Works by Gil Evans and Chuck Owen and a New Work by Aaron Hedenstrom

Description: This dissertation explores the creative process in large-scale jazz ensemble works that are programmatic in depicting geographical locations. This is achieved through analyses of Gil Evans's Sketches of Spain, Chuck Owen's River Runs: A Concerto for Jazz Guitar, Saxophone, & Orchestra, and Aaron Hedenstrom's Sketches of Minnesota. Each work is examined using five analytical categories: orchestration, large-scale form, harmonic/melodic development, programmatic framework, and use of featured soloists. The analyses draw from musical scores, interviews, biographies, recordings, and articles to reveal more about each composer's artistic intentions. This study contributes to the broader knowledge of large-ensemble jazz works and programmatic jazz works. This research meets the need for more critical analyses of important jazz ensemble works relevant to composers, arrangers, and scholars.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Hedenstrom, Aaron Norell
Partner: UNT Libraries

Woody Shaw: Development of Style in Three Versions of "The Moontrane”

Description: Woody Shaw is one of the most influential jazz trumpet players of the past fifty years. Despite his importance, very few models exist that contextualize Shaw's improvisatory approach inside modern jazz pedagogy. Writers such as Rex Richardson, Eric O'Donnell, and Gavin Franklin have identified key elements of Shaw's style, and have begun a critical examination of Shaw's music. While extensive, these approaches do not take into consideration the impact free jazz had on Shaw's technique, nor do they provide a model for how to duplicate Shaw's style. This project examines four elements of Shaw's style as seen in three improvised solos on "The Moontrane." These solos are taken from early, middle, and late stages of Shaw's career. By studying scale choice, sequence and the sequential treatment of motifs, pentatonic approaches to harmonic sequence, and atypical rhythmic phrasing, this study is able to show (1) how these elements developed over the totality of Shaw's career, (2) provide a better understanding of Shaw's improvisational style, and (3) provide a basis for implementing these procedures in modern music.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Karns, Keith Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Evolution of Ella Fitzgerald's Syllabic Choices in Scat Singing: A Critical Analysis of Her Decca Recordings, 1943-1952

Description: This study examines the evolution of Ella Fitzgerald's scat syllable vocabulary during a key developmental period in her career when she was recording for Decca Records. Between 1943 and 1952, Fitzgerald established the syllabic vocabulary that would serve as a defining characteristic of her improvisational style for the rest of her career. Fitzgerald is commonly praised as the greatest vocal improviser in jazz history, but while much has been written about Fitzgerald's melodic and harmonic approach to jazz improvisation, little has been written about her syllabic approach. Timbre and articulation are considered to be vital elements of any jazz musician's style; the study examines the changes in Ella Fitzgerald's syllabic approach through transcription and analyses of thirteen scat solos recorded during this time period, using scat syllable choices to discuss timbre and articulation. This analysis provides a model for further research of its kind, as well as informing historically accurate performance practice by both teachers and students of jazz singing.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Binek, Justin Garrett
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tone Parallels in Music for Film: The Compositional Works of Terence Blanchard in the Diegetic Universe and a New Work for Studio Orchestra by Brian Horton

Description: This research investigates the culturally programmatic symbolism of jazz music in film. I explore this concept through critical analysis of composer Terence Blanchard's original score for Malcolm X directed by Spike Lee (1992). I view Blanchard's music as representing a non-diegetic tone parallel that musically narrates several authentic characteristics of African-American life, culture, and the human condition as depicted in Lee's film. Blanchard's score embodies a broad spectrum of musical influences that reshape Hollywood's historically limited, and often misappropiated perceptions of jazz music within African-American culture. By combining stylistic traits of jazz and classical idioms, Blanchard reinvents the sonic soundscape in which musical expression and the black experience are represented on the big screen. My new work––Black Magic––is a musical response to the research found within this study. The through-composed piece is written in three movements for a studio orchestra. It is an homage to the musical, cultural, and entertainment contributions of African-Americans in the magical realm of Hollywood cinema.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Horton, Johnathan Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries