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The Analysis of Jazz Improvisational Language and its use in Generating New Composition and Improvisation. A case study involving bebop jazz guitarist Jimmy Raney (20/8/27 - 9/5/95)

Citation

Hodges, GJ, The Analysis of Jazz Improvisational Language and its use in Generating New Composition and Improvisation. A case study involving bebop jazz guitarist Jimmy Raney (20/8/27 - 9/5/95) (2009) [PhD]

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Abstract

This project approaches the improvised music-learning environment from both practical and academic perspectives. It explores the content of Jimmy Raney’s improvisational language and how this knowledge can be utilized practically in the development of new musical material. Raney, while always noted for his technical proficiency, is now, belatedly, gaining recognition, as a most influential bebop stylist. To date, relatively little of depth has been published on his unique style. The project is divided into three sections coinciding with the conceptual framework. The first involves the selection, learning and transcription of Jimmy Raney’s improvised solos. A representative selection of twenty two of Raney’s solos was transcribed. The second is the analysis and investigation of these solos and the selection of idioms appropriate for compositional genesis. Six solos were analyzed in detail and evaluated as to style, idioms, improvisational language and technique. The third section provides practical and creative outcomes for the thesis and involves the composition and recording of eight pieces whose primary melodic motifs are derived from key idioms identified in Raney’s improvisational language. They are constructed to derive the most benefit from important aspects of Raney’s style. Both musical composition (usually with written commentary) and analysis of existing musical works have traditionally been accepted as valid research products. The composition of new works based on knowledge gained from the absorption of preexistent material consequently represents a true research outcome combining both activities. The composition and recording components ensure a focus on the artistic outcome rather than just the musicological. The works are scored in lead sheet format but are recorded in jazz style with solos and improvised extensions. Notes on the compositional process, with analysis, are included. Throughout the study a number of points of reference have been used. First, written material relating to Raney’s style and place in the development of jazz was referred to with preeminence given to sources that had close artistic association with the guitarist. After this the transcriptions and their analysis were subject to the scrutiny of proponents of jazz guitar. Lastly, the author consulted with and interviewed musicians who had a close musical association with Raney.

Item Details

Item Type:PhD
Keywords:Jazz Guitar, Jimmy Raney, Glen Hodges, Transcription, Composition, Improvisation, Musical Analysis
Research Division:Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Research Field:Music Performance
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Arts and Leisure
Objective Field:Music
Author:Hodges, GJ (Dr Glen Hodges)
ID Code:62394
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Conservatorium of Music
Deposited On:2010-03-11
Last Modified:2010-03-11
Downloads:0

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