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The Use of Jazz in Opera

Description: Methods of incorporating jazz in opera range from using simple blue notes and fox-trot rhythms, to utilizing jazz instruments, to employing elaborate passages of improvisation. Current definitions of "jazz opera" do not consider variations in the genre, which, because of their evolving nature and the varied background of their composers, are diverse. This study attempts to collectively discuss these third-stream works. Jazz rhythms and harmonies first appeared in the 1920s in the works of Gershwin, Harling, Krenek, and Freeman. In 1966, Gunther Schuller was the first composer to use improvisation in an opera, which has become the primary distinguishing factor. There has since been a tremendous interest in this genre by such jazz musicians as Dave Burrell, Anthony Davis, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Anthony Braxton, George Gruntz, and Jon Faddis.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Ottervik, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries

Twelve Jazz Standards and Improvisations Transcribed and Adapted for Horn

Description: The purpose of this manuscript is to provide a representative collection of jazz standards with improvised solos fashioned after the types of resources available for traditional jazz instruments, yet transcribed and adapted specifically for horn, hence, expressly designed to assist horn players in achieving greater success in jazz performance. By providing transcriptions and adaptations of significant performances from jazz history, horn players will have a resource with which they can better understand jazz performance practice. Featured artists include Miles Davis, Curtis Fuller, Ella Fitzgerald, Tommy Turk, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, J. J. Johnson, Stan Getz, and Milt Jackson. Song titles and albums are as follows: "Autumn Leaves," Somethin' Else (1958), "Blue Train," Blue Train (1957), "How High the Moon," Ella in Berlin (1960), "Lester Leaps In," Jazz at the Philharmonic (1949), "Lover Man," The Magnificent Charlie Parker (1951), "Moritat," Saxophone Colossus (1956), "Naima," Giant Steps (1959), "On Green Dolphin Street," Kind of Blue (1959), "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (1960), "Satin Doll," The Trombone Master (1957), "Stella by Starlight," Stan Getz Plays (1952), "Straight, No Chaser," Genius of Modern Music 2 (1951).
Date: May 2011
Creator: Salisbury, Linda J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A theoretical analysis of selected solo repertoire for saxophone by Paul Bonneau.

Description: The primary purpose of this dissertation is to provide greater insight into the compositional design of Paul Bonneau's Caprice en forme de valse solo pour saxophone and the Piece Concertante Dans L'Esprit "Jazz" pour saxophone alto et piano through a detailed analysis of the pieces. Paul Bonneau's Caprice en forme de valse is a major work for saxophone. It has been referred to as one of the most technically demanding works in the classical saxophone repertoire. In addition, the Caprice has been transcribed for the flute, clarinet and bassoon. In fact, the Caprice has been designated as "one of the most musically cohesive unaccompanied works written for any wind instrument." Bonneau's Piece Concertante Dans L'Esprit "Jazz" is also an important work in the repertoire due to its high degree of virtuosity and unique fusion of traditional classical and jazz elements. The analysis process focuses initially on the fundamental elements of music. Each analysis begins with an outline and description of the formal design of the piece. Major sections and their various subdivisions are detailed specifically. The tonal organization of the piece is presented. Large scale tonal areas are identified along with detailed discussions pertaining to specific harmonic structures. Due to the nature of the harmonic content of the pieces, standard contemporary chord symbol nomenclature is used. A table detailing various chord types and their associated symbols is provided. Information regarding the character and construction of Bonneau's melodies is presented. Items pertaining to melody include the use of step progressions, the variation principle, canonic effects and sequence. Basic rhythmic characteristics are outlined, as well. In addition to items related to the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic organization of pitches, other aspects of the music such as texture, articulation, dynamics and tessitura are integrated into the analytical discussion. Specific comments regarding the application ...
Date: August 2002
Creator: Johnson, Keith T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Miles Davis: The Road to Modal Jazz

Description: The fact that Davis changed his mind radically several times throughout his life appeals to the curiosity. This thesis considers what could be one of the most important and definitive changes: the change from hard bop to modal jazz. This shift, although gradual, is best represented by and culminates in Kind of Blue, the first Davis album based on modal style, marking a clear break from hard bop. This thesis explores the motivations and reasons behind the change, and attempt to explain why it came about. The purpose of the study is to discover the reasons for the change itself as well as the reasons for the direction of the change: Why change and why modal music?
Date: May 2007
Creator: Camacho Bernal, Leonardo
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Jazz on the Solo Trumpet Compositions of Eugène Bozza

Description: This paper investigates the influence of jazz on the nine solo trumpet compositions of the French composer Eugène Bozza (1905-1991). Bozza, like many other French composers in the first half of the 20th century, combines traditional elements of western European art music with innovations of American popular music. While Bozza holds a prominent role as a composer of solo trumpet literature in the mid-20th century, little has been written about the influence of jazz in his works. This paper traces the influences of American jazz upon French composers and analyzes the elements of jazz within Bozza's compositions for solo trumpet by comparing them to conventions employed by jazz composers.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Dovel, Jason
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Improvisational Vocabulary of Pepper Adams: A Comparison of the Relationship of Selected Motives to Harmony in Four Improvised Solos

Description: Park "Pepper" Adams, III (1930-1986) is one of the most influential baritone saxophonists in the history of modern jazz. In addition to his time feel, his timbre, and other conceptual techniques, a great deal of Adams's improvisational style and vocabulary can be illustrated by his use of three motivic devices. These three motivic devices are: (1) his utilization of the sixth degree of the major scale as an important melodic pitch; (2) his use of a paraphrased portion of the melody of the popular song "Cry Me a River;" and (3) his use of the half-whole octatonic scale when the rhythm section sounds a dominant chord. This dissertation traces the way in which Adams applies these three motivic devices through four of his original compositions, "Enchilada Baby," "Bossallegro," "Lovers of Their Time," and "Rue Serpente." All four of these compositions were recorded by Adams on his 1980 album, The Master. In addition to the motivic analysis, a biography of Adams is included. Complete transcriptions by the author of Adams's improvised solos on the four compositions are included in the appendices.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Lington, Aaron Joseph
Partner: UNT Libraries

Journey for Jazz

Description: This written thesis accompanies a 32-minute documentary video, Journey for Jazz, which explores four Korean students who major in jazz at the University of North Texas in Denton. Detailed accounts of the pre-production, production, and post-production of the video guide the reader to understand the challenging and rewarding process of making this documentary. Theoretical issues are also discussed, including Bill Nichols's typology of documentary modes as a useful tool for analysis of hybrid documentaries and conventions of the observational and interactive mode in Journey for Jazz, which is considered a hybrid of both modes. The film focuses mainly on the scholarly and artistic experiences that the four students undergo while studying jazz in the United States.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Ahn, Byungkyu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Germinal Ideas and Processes within plies (2002): A Chamber Work for Eleven Players

Description: The piece is a twenty minute work discoursing the integration and eventual dissolution of two separate musical strands. The pitch material of each strand is determined from synthetic scales whose intervalic content duplicates at the following intervals: Perfect 12th, Diminished 12th, Minor 9th, Perfect 8ve, and Major 7th. A proportional means of temporal compression is generated through the use of the factor, 11/15 (e.g. Event 2 is 11/15 the duration of Event 1). Various elements of jazz music informed the construction of plies, including the instrumentation of the ensemble and the means by which the performers interact throughout the piece. Internal cueing and performer decisions are meant to eliminate the need of a conductor in favor of increased interpretive freedom by the performers.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Stecher, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence Of Jazz On Timbre In Selected Compositions For Solo Trombone

Description: A significant body of solo literature for the trombone has been written in the last fifty years that draws as much from the jazz tradition as from that of European classical music. While much attention has been paid to these works' use of characteristic jazz rhythms, harmonies and melodic inflections, there has been little focus on timbre, the musical element that perhaps most readily distinguishes jazz from other styles of Western music. This paper focuses on the important role jazz timbres should play in a performer's interpretation of those works that are significantly influenced by jazz. It includes explorations of the significant differences in concepts of timbre between European classical music and jazz, some of the ways in which these timbral differences are produced, and methods by which performers can develop the skills necessary to produce these varied timbres. Particular attention is paid to the importance of timbre to idiomatically appropriate performances of two significant works from the solo trombone repertoire, Robert Suderburg's Night Set (Chamber Music III) and Richard Peaslee's Arrows of Time.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Aldag, Daniel J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The improvisational language of Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen: A performance study.

Description: Thirteen original transcriptions and subsequent analysis of improvised solos performed by Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. The transcriptions are analyzed in three categories: harmonic vocabulary, technical devices, and motivic use. Pervasive harmonic and melodic themes are presented and compared with phrases from improvisers such as Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker, as well as compositions by J.S. Bach and Johannes Brahms. Observations from the transcriptions regarding performance practice and techniques unique to Pedersen as well as the influence of the physical characteristics of the double bass are discussed. Pedersen's use of motivic development within a single solo is analyzed.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Butterfield, Craig
Partner: UNT Libraries

A multi-dimensional entropy model of jazz improvisation for music information retrieval.

Description: Jazz improvisation provides a case context for examining information in music; entropy provides a means for representing music for retrieval. Entropy measures are shown to distinguish between different improvisations on the same theme, thus demonstrating their potential for representing jazz information for analysis and retrieval. The calculated entropy measures are calibrated against human representation by means of a case study of an advanced jazz improvisation course, in which synonyms for "entropy" are frequently used by the instructor. The data sets are examined for insights in music information retrieval, music information behavior, and music representation.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Simon, Scott J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Making the Change": Middle School Band Students' Perspectives on the Learning of Musical-Technical Skills in Jazz Performance

Description: Students' perspectives in jazz education have gone largely ignored. A modified analytic inductive design allowed me to look broadly at the students' jazz band experience while specifically investigating their views about playing individualized parts, improvising, and interpreting and articulating swing rhythms. A focus group procedure was altered (Krueger, 1995) and incorporated into my teaching of 19 students. Two 30 minute sessions per week over a 12 week period were video- and audiotaped. Audiotaped exit interviews provided data in a non-social environment. All data were transcribed and coded in order to identify major themes and trends. Conclusions were verified through member checks, several types of triangulation and other qualitative analysis techniques. Trustworthiness was determined through an audit. Cognitively and physically, students had to accommodate musical techniques as these differed from those used in concert band. Some students were confused by the new seating arrangement and the playing of individualized parts. While some students could perform distinctly different swing and straight interpretations of the same song without external cues, others could only perform this task with external cues. Some changes in articulation were well within the students' capabilities while other techniques were more difficult to accommodate. Several students felt 'uptight' while they improvised alone in front of their peers, noting group improvisation and rhythmic embellishment of familiar tunes as being helpful in assuaging these feelings. Students recognized the environmental differences between concert band and jazz band, and reported more freedom of expression in jazz band. Particularly enjoying this freedom, the more willing improvisors banded together as a clique. The students' learning was viewed as being situated in the context of jazz band. 'Musical perturbation' and cognitive apprenticeship described students' physical and cognitive accommodation of the new context. The instructional strategies students found to be most helpful were student-centered and derived from cognitive ...
Date: August 1996
Creator: Leavell, Brian K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tonality and the Extended Common Practice in the Music of Thad Jones

Description: Tonality is a term often used to describe the music of the common practice period (roughly 1600-1900). This study examines the music of mid twentieth-century jazz composer Thad Jones in light of an extended common practice, explicating ways in which this music might be best understood as tonal. Drawing from analyses of three of Jones’s big band compositions: To You, Three and One, and Cherry Juice, this study examines three primary elements in detail. First is Jones’s use of chord-scale application techniques in the orchestration over various chordal qualities represented by the symbols, revealing traditional as well as innovative methods by Jones. Second is Jones’s use of harmonic progressions, demonstrating his connection to past practice as well as modern jazz variations. Third is Jones’s use of contrapuntal connections and their traditional relationship to functional tonality, but in a chromatic scale-based environment. Jones’s music is presented in this study to demonstrate a tonal jazz common practice that represents an amalgamation of traditions including twentieth-century scale-based procedures, Renaissance and early twentieth-century modality, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century voice leading schemas, and Baroque and Classical descending-fifth progressions. Also included as an appendix is a list of possible note errors in the published scores of To You, Three and One, and Cherry Juice.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Rogers, Michael A
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Sounds for Adventurous Listeners”: Willis Conover, the Voice of America, and the International Reception of Avant-garde Jazz in the 1960S

Description: In “Sounds for Adventurous Listeners,” I argue that Conover’s role in the dissemination of jazz through the Music USA Jazz Hour was more influential on an educational level than what literature on Conover currently provides. Chapter 2 begins with an examination of current studies regarding the role of jazz in Cold War diplomacy, the sociopolitical implications of avant-garde jazz and race, the convergence of fandom and propaganda, the promoter as facilitator of musical trends, and the influence of international radio during the Cold War. In chapter 3 I introduce the Friends of Music USA Newsletter and explain its function as a record of overseas jazz reception and a document that cohered a global network of fans. I then focus on avant-garde debates of the 1960s and discuss Conover’s role overseas and in the United States. Chapter 4 engages social purpose and jazz criticism in the 1960s. I discuss Conover’s philosophy on social responsibility, and how his contributions intersected with other relevant discourses on race on the eve of the civil rights movement. I argue that Conover embodied two personas: one as jazz critic and promoter in the United States, and the other as an international intermediary. In chapter 5 I discuss how Conover presented the avant-garde to his overseas audience. I argue that through his efforts to broadcast jazz impartially, he legitimized avant-garde and emphasized its qualities as art music. In chapter 6 I explore fandom studies as they apply to the formation of Music USA as a global fan network. I discuss the early roots of Conover’s interest in science fiction fandom as a motivation for the implementation of the Friends of Music USA (FOMUSA) groups. Chapter 7 concludes in a discussion of the deification of Conover though the medium of radio in the midst of the Cold War. ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Breckenridge, Mark A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Performance Guide to Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Trumpet Concerto, "Nobody Knows De Trouble I See"

Description: Bernd Zimmermann's Trumpet Concerto, "Nobody Knows de Trouble I See" is an important twentieth-century work for trumpet. Despite the stature of the composition, it has rarely been performed due to its considerable musical and technical demands. Integrating these diverse demands into a coherent performance requires careful consideration of the various performance practice consequences. The study begins by exploring the historical and musical context in which the work was written. It then considers the individual musical elements of the concerto. Finally, the study examines the performance practice implications of the work. The performance guide serves as a framework for making intelligent musical and technical decisions through context, analysis, and practical considerations.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Haley, Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Don Gillis's Symphony No 5½: Music for the People

Description: Don Gillis wrote Symphony No. 5½ (1947) in order to reconcile the American public with modern art music. By synthesizing jazz (as well as other American folk idioms), singable melodies, and humor, and then couching them into symphonic language, Gillis produced a work that lay listeners could process and enjoy. The piece was an immediate success and was played by orchestras across the globe, but it did not retain this popularity and it eventually faded from relevancy. This study focuses on elements that contributed to the initial efficacy and ultimate decline of the work. Due to its pervasive popular influences, Symphony No. 5½ is a crystallized representation of time in which it was written, and it soon became dated. Don Gillis did not harbor the idea that Symphony No. 5½ would grant him great wealth or musical immortality; he had a more pragmatic goal in mind. He used every musical element at his disposal to write a symphonic work that would communicate directly with the American people via a musical language they would understand. He was successful in this regard, but the dialogue ended soon after mid-century.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Morrison, Sean
Partner: UNT Libraries

Collaborative Crossover: Identifying Classical Vocal Collaborative Piano Practices in Jazz Vocal Accompanying

Description: Classical vocal collaborative piano and jazz vocal accompaniment are well-established fields with long-standing performance traditions. Classical collaborative performance practices have been researched and codified, but jazz accompanying practices largely remain in the domain of aural tradition. Both classical and jazz accompaniment share associated practices, such as rubato, transposition, and attention to lyric diction and inflection, but there is little previous investigation into the idea that classical collaborative practices might apply to jazz accompanying. This research examines jazz piano accompanying practices in sung verses of standard tunes to demonstrate how accomplished jazz pianists intuitively use many of the same techniques as classical collaborative pianists to create balance with singers. Through application of expressive microtiming analysis to graphical displays of transcribed recorded performances, a strong correlation is established between the classical and jazz vocal accompanying traditions. Linking classical practices to jazz potentially creates a foundation for jazz accompanying pedagogy.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Morgenroth, David Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries