Files in this item



application/pdfERICKSON-DISSERTATION-2015.pdf (13MB)
(no description provided)PDF


Title:Signifying on the Greeks: the use of rhetorical devices in jazz improvisation analysis
Author(s):Erickson, Jeffrey D.
Director of Research:McNeill, Charles
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McNeill, Charles
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Richtmeyer, Debra; Lund, Erik; Solis, Gabriel
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Jazz Performance
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):jazz improvisation analysis
musical rhetoric
rhetorical analysis
Western musical rhetoric
African American musical rhetoric
musical-rhetorical devices
musical-rhetorical figures
Horace Silver
"The Tokyo Blues"
Jim Hall
"Hide and Seek"
Lester Young
"Lady Be Good"
Sonny Rollins
"Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise"
Miles Davis
"My Funny Valentine"
Steve Lacy
Martin Luther King
"I have a Dream"
Abstract:Rhetoric is the art of effective and persuasive communication. Building upon and bringing together musical and rhetorical scholarship from both Western and Afrological perspectives, this study lays out a theoretical framework and analytical process for applying the principles and devices of rhetoric to jazz improvisation analysis. Taken from both Western and Afrological sources, approximately four dozen rhetorical devices are defined, translated into musical figures, and applied to the transcribed solos of six jazz artists. These musicians, Lester Young, Jim Hall, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, and Steve Lacy, are master communicators; their ability to craft a “message” and communicate effectively and persuasively is reflected in their significant use of rhetorical figures in these improvisations. These six analyses show how a rhetorical approach to jazz improvisation analysis is unique in jazz scholarship and offers new insights that existing forms of analysis do not provide. By combining both European and African rhetorical traditions, this study moves beyond traditional musical analysis, based primarily on Western music theory concepts, to incorporate the unique qualities and semantics of African American musical and rhetorical culture. Along with the solo analysis, this study provides a historical background of the two rhetorical and musical-rhetorical traditions upon which jazz draws: the Western European, via the ancient Greeks and Romans, and the African American, via the Africans and ancient Egyptians. Additionally, Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” is transcribed and analyzed for its rhetorical and musical-rhetorical use; the solo analysis draws on this speech for comparative purposes.
Issue Date:2015-12-01
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Jeff D. Erickson
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-02
Date Deposited:2015-12

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics