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Type: Thesis
Title: A radical reconsideration of serialism and chord stranding, applied to a personal jazz style (CD recordings and exegesis)
Author: Martin, Christopher Robert
Issue Date: 2008
School/Discipline: Elder Conservatorium of Music
Abstract: Despite a widely held view that serialism is incompatible with jazz improvisation, there are many instances of jazz musicians successfully engaging with this concept. This conflict seems likely to have arisen from differing interpretations of ‘serialism’; however, the question of how a jazz improviser’s approach to serialism might, or perhaps should, differ from a classical composer’s, has been left unasked. In addition, most attempts at the use of serialism within improvisation remain undocumented by the musicians concerned. The chord stranding techniques of Lutoslawski are less well known and less controversial than serialism. Connections between Lutoslawski’s twelve-note chords and traditional twelve-note rows are obvious, as are connections between the concept of harmonic ‘strands’ and the jazz harmonic device of superimposition. The possibilities for use of Lutoslawski’s ideas within a jazz context are interesting and worthy of consideration. This research project involves the composition and performance of jazz pieces applying serialism and chord stranding, as well as the exploration of precedents for these ideas within the jazz tradition. The four CD recordings within this thesis present the initial development of these concepts (CDs 1 and 2); an exploration of serialism in the music of John Coltrane (CD 3); and an album of original material demonstrating the integrated application of these concepts (CD 4). The exegesis describes the broader context of this project and examines the relevant music theory concepts. It uses analysis of transcriptions to show the specific application of techniques. The key outcomes from this research are (i) the development and (ii) the demonstration of techniques for pitch organisation based on serialism and chord stranding that are appropriate for jazz improvisation. The recordings and exegesis show the successful integration of these techniques with existing melodic and harmonic ideas familiar to jazz musicians. It is argued that the approach to jazz improvisation explored within this research represents a novel and radical reinterpretation of the traditional concept of serialism and that this approach is helpful when considering the effective use of serialism in a jazz context. From a broader perspective, this research offers a case study of an improviser grappling with the challenges of synthesis and stylistic integrity and, as such, it has the potential to inform contemporary debates concerning tradition and innovation within jazz.
Contents: v. 1 Exegesis -- v. 2 CD Recordings: CD1. Serialism concept development ; CD2. Chord stranding concept development ; CD3. Chris Martin Trio play A love supreme ; CD4. Triptych, 1+1=1
Advisor: Koehne, Graeme John
Hancock, Bruce
Nettelbeck, Theodore John
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium of Music, 2008
Subject: Jazz.
Jazz 2001-2010
Improvisation (Music)
Serialism (Music)
Keywords: music; performance; jazz; serialism; chord stranding; Lutoslawski; composition; improvisation
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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