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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

Rediscovering Fernande Decruck's Sonate en ut# pour saxophone alto (ou alto) et orchestre: A Performance Analysis

Description: French composer Fernande Decruck (1896-1954) composed over forty works for the saxophone, but her music fell into obscurity soon after her death. In recent years, the Sonate en ut# pour saxophone alto (ou alto) et orchestre (1943) has been rediscovered, performed, and recorded by prominent concert saxophonists. This document takes a historical approach by examining Decruck's biography, as well as a theoretical approach to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of her work through analysis. The first four chapters of this document provide biographical background on Decruck, her career, professional associations, and her husband, Maurice Decruck, saxophonist and music publisher. Additionally, an examination of her saxophone output includes a brief discussion of her compositional development. Fernande Decruck dedicated her sonata to French saxophone virtuoso Marcel Mule, but a version for solo viola also exists. From the discrepancies between the versions, one might infer that portions of the work were composed originally for the viola. There are also two versions of the accompaniment: one for full orchestra and the other for piano. Analysis comprises the bulk of this study. The work is composed in a traditional four-movement setting: a sonata-form opening movement, a slow second movement, a movement entitled "Fileuse" (spinning song), substituting for the traditional scherzo, and a rondo-like finale. The work incorporates trends of Impressionism through its harmonic vocabulary, chordal planing, and pentatonic scales. It also demonstrates a sophisticated application of polytonal techniques in several passages. In addition to analysis of each movement, common interpretive practices are discussed, based upon available commercial recorded performances, and performance suggestions are given. There are several notation errors within the parts, as well as some significant differences between the two accompaniments. These errata and discrepancies between the solo parts are listed and discussed.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Cain, Joren
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Interpretive Analysis of George Antheil's Sonata for Trumpet and Piano

Description: American composer George Antheil's Sonata for Trumpet and Piano was written in 1951. This dissertation provides historical and theoretical information that gives insight into the interpretation of this sonata. Reasons why the piece deserves greater attention with respect to the standard twentieth century trumpet literature are also given. Antheil's music was influential in the development of classical music in the first half of the 20th century and, more specifically, contributed to the establishment of an American style of classical music. Composed near the end of his life, this sonata has its roots in this heritage. The understanding of Antheil's history, motivations, and compositional techniques is intended to help bring a performance of this sonata to its full potential.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Fenderson, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries