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:Kenny Kirkland's harmonic and rhythmic language: A study in genre and comparative analysis
Author(s):Dean, Geoffrey
Contributor(s):Stephens, John Chip; Carrillo, Teofilo; Heiles, William; Lund, Erik
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Abstract:This thesis serves as an insight to modern jazz piano language at the turn of the 21st century by analyzing pianist Kenny Kirkland through six original transcriptions. An examination of Kirkland’s collected recordings as a sideman as well as analysis of unreleased trio material showcases a large variety of Kirkland’s playing. The versatility of Kirkland’s playing style and recording career allow for analyses of jazz language across multiple styles and subgenres to examine characteristics of advanced modern jazz piano playing. The chosen selections of Kirkland’s improvisations focus on standard jazz repertoire including blues, rhythm changes, pop and contemporary, modal music and “Giant Steps” as well as other challenging compositions. Kenny Kirkland’s influence and the advanced harmonic and rhythmic devices in his playing remain relevant and in practice today. Examining these playing elements highlight advanced harmonic and rhythmic concepts in modern jazz piano and give new insight into his playing.
Issue Date:2019
Publisher:School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Geoffrey Dean
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-04-12

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