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:Melodic rhythms, intervals, and harmony in selected works of Jerry Bergonzi
Author(s):Nichols, Benjamin Edward
Advisor(s):McNeill, Charles
Contributor(s):McNeill, Charles; Richtmeyer, Debra; Stephens, Chip; Tipei, Sever
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Abstract:Jerry Bergonzi (1947- ) is a late-twentieth and twenty-first century jazz saxophonist and composer, often associated with the 1970’s New York Loft Scene. This paper discusses methods Bergonzi uses to write original compositions and arrangements of jazz standards. Through the use of specific rhythmic, intervallic, and harmonic shapes, Bergonzi uses techniques inspired by John Coltrane, Olivier Messiaen, and Arnold Schoenberg. Bergonzi’s compositions “It’s the Same,” “Philapino,” “Ryvim with Ding,” “Awake,” “Do It to Do It,” “Ellwood,” “New in the Neighborhood,” “Czarology,” “Cadiz,” and Bergonzi’s arrangements of “Night and Day,” “I Love You,” “Solar,” and “Stella by Starlight” are studied. Through formal analysis this project gives insight into Bergonzi’s compositional and arranging methods used in the selected pieces. The compositional and arranging talents of Bergonzi have not been studied on the same scholarly level as his improvisations. In the transcription book, Jerry Bergonzi Solos: Setting Standards, Miles Osland gives a little background information about a few of Bergonzi’s compositions. Jamey Aebersold published a play-a-long book and CD featuring some of Bergonzi’s music. Matthew Olson analyzes the harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic language of Bergonzi’s improvisational style in his dissertation: “Self Expression in the Present Tense: An Examination of the Unique Elements of Jerry Bergonzi’s Improvisational Style.” Though these sources contain various Bergonzi compositions, they primarily focus on improvisation. In 2013, Jeff Ellwood put many of Bergonzi’s compositions and arrangements into music notation software and published them online. These lead sheets are a valuable resource, but the music has not been thoroughly analyzed or explained. This paper supplies research that will answer two questions: What are Bergonzi’s compositional techniques? What makes his compositions and arrangements compelling and unique? These questions are not answered with the current scholarship on Jerry Bergonzi. Through a thorough analysis I have uncovered elements that make Bergonzi’s compositional and arranging styles innovative, unique, and compelling.
Issue Date:2020
Publisher:School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Benjamin Edward Nichols
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-05-05

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