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An Analysis of Joe Lovano's Tenor Saxophone Improvisation on "Misterioso" by Thelonius Monk: An Exercise in Multi-Dimensional Thematicism

Description: The dissertation focuses on Joe Lovano's utilization of thematic material in relation to "Misterioso" by Thelonius Monk. Thematicism is defined more broadly in this study to include reference to the form, phrase structure, and harmony of "Misterioso". Methodological models provided by Gary Potter, Henry Martin, and Paul Hindemith serve as points of departure for this study which focuses on four areas: 1) phrasing, 2) step progression, 3) motives and formulas, and 4) harmonic implications. Thematic relationships are discovered through the analysis of the transcription of Lovano's improvisation; the four levels of the analysis work together and also independent of one another to produce a kind of thematic counterpoint. This study also examines how Lovano creates an effective solo. The study will be of benefit to students, professional musicians, pedagogues, theorists, musicologists, and jazz aficionados.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Dahlke, Andrew Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Caught Between Jazz and Pop: The Contested Origins, Criticism, Performance Practice, and Reception of Smooth Jazz.

Description: In Caught Between Jazz and Pop, I challenge the prevalent marginalization and malignment of smooth jazz in the standard jazz narrative. Furthermore, I question the assumption that smooth jazz is an unfortunate and unwelcomed evolutionary outcome of the jazz-fusion era. Instead, I argue that smooth jazz is a long-lived musical style that merits multi-disciplinary analyses of its origins, critical dialogues, performance practice, and reception. Chapter 1 begins with an examination of current misconceptions about the origins of smooth jazz. In many jazz histories, the origins of smooth jazz are defined as a product of the jazz-fusion era. I suggest that smooth jazz is a distinct jazz style that is not a direct outgrowth of any mainstream jazz style, but a hybrid of various popular and jazz styles. Chapters 2 through 4 contain eight case studies examining the performers of crossover jazz and smooth jazz. These performers have conceived and maintained distinct communicative connections between themselves and their audiences. In the following chapter, the unfair treatment of popular jazz styles is examined. Many early and influential jazz critics sought to elevate jazz to the status of art music by discrediting popular jazz styles. These critics used specific criteria and emphasized notions of anti-commerciality to support their theoretical positions. In Chapter 6, the studio recordings and live performances of smooth jazz are discussed. Critics frequently complain that most smooth jazz recordings feature glossy packaging and pristine studio editing, resulting in a too-perfect product. Although this aesthetic is the result of a unique series of interactions, recordings do not represent the complete musical nature of smooth jazz. Live performances contain important, but typically neglected aspects of smooth jazz. Live performances enable performers to extend solos, interact, and communicate directly to the audience. While recordings are a useful source for musical analysis, smooth jazz, ...
Date: December 2008
Creator: West, Aaron J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

It's Not Fusion: Hybridity in the Music of Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa

Description: This thesis concerns the performance of identity in the music of Indian American jazz musicians Rudresh Mahanthappa and Vijay Iyer. In combining the use of Indian classical music elements with jazz, Iyer and Mahanthappa create music that is inextricably tied to their multifaceted identities. Traditional musicological analysis is juxtaposed with a theoretical framework that draws on postcolonial theory and the history of Asian immigrant populations to the U.S. I chronicle the interactions between Indian and Western music and link it to larger issues of Asian American identity formation and activism through music. Through interviews and transcriptions of studio recordings, I identify specific compositional and improvisational strategies of the musicians. I emphasize the role of individual agency in the formation of second-generation identities, drawing attention to the distinct ways that Iyer and Mahanthappa approach their music. Finally, I connect this research to a larger discourse on Indian American artistic identity.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Govind, Arathi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Foreignizing Mahler: Uri Caine’s Mahler Project As Intertraditional Musical Translation

Description: The customary way to create jazz arrangements of the Western classical canon—informally called swingin’-the-classics—adapts the original composition to jazz conventions. Uri Caine (b.1956) has devised an alternative approach, most notably in his work with compositions by Gustav Mahler. He refracts Mahler’s compositions through an eclectic array of musical performance styles while also eschewing the use of traditional jazz structures in favor of stricter adherence to formal ideas in the original score than is usual in a jazz arrangement. These elements and the manner in which Caine incorporates them in his Mahler arrangements closely parallel the practices of a translator who chooses to create a “foreignizing” literary translation. The 19th-century philosopher and translation theorist Friedrich Schleiermacher explained that in a foreignizing translation “the translator leaves the writer alone as much as possible and moves the reader toward the writer.” Foreignizing translations accentuate the otherness of the original work, approximating the foreign text’s form and syntax in the receiving language and using an uncommon, heterogeneous vocabulary. The resulting translations, which challenge readers with their frequent defiance of the conventions of the receiving linguistic culture, create literal, exaggerated readings that better convey authors’ characteristic use of their own languages for a new audience. My study of Caine’s music—which includes a survey of previously unavailable manuscripts and an exploration of selected arrangements using an analytical method designed to address the qualities in music that parallel foreignizing translation-contextualizes Caine’s modifications to Mahler’s compositions to generate intertextual readings that simultaneously highlight the ways that Mahler was innovative within his own tradition.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Ritchie, J. Cole
Partner: UNT Libraries

The UNT Music Library at 75: Selections from Its Special Collections

Description: The UNT Music Library boasts an interesting and vastly varied assortment of musical treasures in its special collections. This commemorative volume celebrates its 75th anniversary with a brief history of the Music Library and a selection of items from its unique collections.
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Date: 2016
Creator: McKnight, Mark
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

[Murchison Performing Center-opening gala]

Description: Video footage of the One O'Clock Lab band, wind symphony with grand chorus, and symphony orchestra with grand chorus performing at the Murchison Performing Arts Center opening gala. The video ends with a fireworks display.
Date: February 20, 1999
Creator: Center for Media Production
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections