Note:This thesis is part of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the School of Music. The project also involved the preparation and performance of a recital of music related to the thesis topic.

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Title:The challenges and advantages of the female self-accompanied jazz pianist/vocalist
Author(s):Sponcia, Kristin J.
Contributor(s):McNeill, Charles; Pugh, Jim; Magee, Jeffrey; Wigley, Sarah
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Great American Songbook
Abstract:This research explores the practical and performance challenges and advantages of jazz singing and improvising in two contrasting contexts: vocalists accompanied by a separate piano player and rhythm section versus self-accompanied jazz vocalists in a solo or rhythm section setting. Only females over the age of 21 are included in this research. Piano is the only instrument used for self-accompanying in this research. In each of these contexts, there are inherent challenges and advantages that affect the musical performance. I have issued a questionnaire to 19 women who fit the description of my research parameters. Their answers plus my own personal accounts of specific challenges and advantages of singing jazz while self-accompanying on piano are discussed. Also discussed are the challenges and advantages of singing with another pianist and with a piano trio. Most of the women identified as a pianist first, vocalist second, or a vocalist first, pianist second, which may or may not have influenced what they perceive to be a challenge or an advantage in a certain scenario. This research is also intended to begin a discussion centered on female jazz vocalists who also self-accompany on piano and how to better serve them in educational settings. It serves as a window into the mind of this type of performer, giving insight to pedagogues and other performers. Finally, this research is intended to begin to fill the gap between resources for jazz pianists and resources for jazz vocalists, as there are currently none that cater to those performers who wish to do both simultaneously.
Issue Date:2018
Publisher:School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:© 2018 Kristin J. Sponcia
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-11-06

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