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Harold Shapero’s Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano: the Influence of Idiomatic Jazz Elements on a Prominent Mid-20th Century Neo-classical Composer

Description: Harold Shapero’s Sonata for Trumpet in C and Piano is a significant work that it is rarely performed and studied. Shapero’s composition contains musical attributes that demand artistically accurate choices if the style of this jazz-influenced sonata is to be achieved. Written in 1940 in dedication to Aaron Copland, the Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano makes use of a variety of stylistic influences, blending those of early 20th century jazz with Stravinsky-influenced neo-classicism. The intent of this study is to examine the unique performance practice implications and musical considerations of Harold Shapero’s Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano in correlation to the composer’s implementation of jazz idiomatic elements within the constructs of neo-classicism. The first section of this study examines the historical context necessary for understanding the social and musical conditions of the early to mid 1940s. The second section addresses the musical elements that characterize this work; the primary focus of this section is an exploration of Harold Shapero’s implementation of jazz idioms into his first composition for trumpet. The final section of the study interprets the utilization of idiomatic jazz elements within the work so as to allow the trumpet player with little jazz experience to accurately perform the piece.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Whalen, Kevin Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries